Movies: Gone Girl

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris
Directed By: David Fincher
Written By: Gillian Flynn
20th Century Fox, 2014
R; 149 mins
4 stars (out of 5)


Let me start by saying I really hated the novel.

But . . . I really like David Fincher movies.

So I had mixed feelings about going to see Gone Girl. I thought maybe I'd just wait until it was on Netflix or whatever. Except Fincher movies really do deserve to be seen on the big screen.

And I liked the movie for what it was. Well crafted. Beautifully shot.

I didn't like the book because there was no one to like in the book. Neither Nick nor Amy is likable; in fact, they're almost intolerable. Sure, you could argue that Margo is sympathetic, but she's not enough to carry an entire novel about two really terrible people.

Now, it's been more than two years since I read the book. But seeing the movie, I do feel like they tried to make Nick more agreeable, probably out of necessity since every movie needs some kind of hero, someone for the viewer to cheer on. I sort of hate the movie for that, though, which is why I deducted a star. Nick doesn't deserve to be made the victim here; he and Amy are both awful, which is why they deserve each other. Yes, I really do believe that, even though [SPOILERS FOLLOW] she's a psychopathic murderer. To make viewers feel sorry for Nick is sort of cowardly filmmaking in my mind.

But maybe we're not supposed to feel sorry for Nick. Maybe it's the, "He made his bed and now he's lying in it" thing. He's stuck in a town where everyone knows he cheated on his wife (hell, the world knows it), and she comes up looking like a rose. No other woman is going to come near him now. He didn't go to prison, but yeah, he kind of did.

Mostly I feel sorry for any baby they have. And for the cat. I'm really hoping the cat was able to escape that toxic environment.

Anyway, my peculiar and particular beefs aside, it was a good movie. I don't really know if I liked it more than the book; it might be more accurate to say I liked it differently from the book. Fincher was certainly the right choice for capturing the tone, and Pike in particular does a phenomenal job as a calculating psychopath who has most of the world fooled. I do wish they'd cranked up Neil Patrick Harris' character a bit, though. And as I've mentioned, they could (possibly should) have made Nick less compassionate.

In short, a solid film. Those who loved the novel should be satisfied, and those who didn't read it should find the movie entertaining anyway. I fall somewhere in the middle and still found Gone Girl to be worth my while.

No comments: