STORY BY NED LEEBRICK-STRYKER
I had the chance to the see “Gone Girl” over fall break and it met every one of my high expectations. Every performance ranged from solid to fantastic, with Rosamund Pike really showing what she could do. I’ve never even seen her in anything before, but she blew me away with her performance. To go into any more detail into why she was so great would have to include spoilers, so let’s do it.
Rosamund Pike’s performance and character stole the show and I think this was intentional. Amy Dunne was a lying sociopath. She was essentially stealing the show from Ben Affleck’s Nick Dunne every chance she could. Every bit of evidence she planted made him look like a murderer, and every time Affleck’s character made a good impression on the public, she hit back with something else. She was always in control of the situation.
Even when Neil Patrick Harris’ crazy Desi appeared to have her confined in his secluded home, she still had a plan. Finally, her return home left Affleck in a pickle. While the public believed the couple was going back to a normal marriage, she was blackmailing him into staying for their unborn baby. Yes, Pike’s acting was top-notch, but so was Amy Dunne’s. They both stole the show.
The movie also had a lot to say about the media. Even before you discovered Affleck’s innocence, it was clear that everything was being sensationalized. Reporters would spend hours and hours outside his house and headlines would implicate Affleck’s guiltiness. Missi Pyle’s Nancy Grace-like character was darkly funny and, sadly, real. The scene where she brings a panel of experts onto her show to diagnose Affleck as a sociopath and imply that his relationship was incestuous was great.
I loved how it showed the ever-changing public perception of the situation. It was like a game of pong. The police would find some piece of fake evidence and everyone would hate Affleck. But as soon as he goes on national television and makes himself look like a good guy, everyone’s on his side.
That definitely happens today. Opinions change in a heartbeat and the media incriminates people even before they’ve had due process. The next time I read a headline, I’m taking it with a grain of salt.
I loved how the whole movie didn’t focus on the mystery. The middle is when everything is revealed. It really changed how I thought everything was going to play out. It’s probably good I didn’t read the book first. The first hour of the movie was paced so well. Going from Amy reading her fake diary (before we find out it’s fake), to the present, with Affleck’s situation getting worse was slow, but deliberate. Finally, right before the big twist comes, you aren’t sure what to think. I legitimately thought Affleck might have done it for second.
The movie couldn’t have been paced like that forever, though. Midway through, it became an entirely different beast I loved that. Kudos to David Fincher for his direction, he pays attention to detail in his movies. The film was over two and a half hours, but edited meticulously. There wasn’t an inch of fat on that bone.