This movie is intriguing and engaging from the first second onwards. Something I found noticeable about this film in the first few minutes was how well shot it was, David Fincher has shot Gone Girl in a way that feels as if he is interrogating his actors. Except for some exceptions, the majority of the time the camera remains fixed. Rather than panning or zooming, often the camera will find a place and stay there, almost as if someone is staring at the character. It is no coincidence that shots like this often take place when Ben Affleck’s character is on-screen as it is Nick Dunne who is facing the most suspicion, it is almost as if the camera and the audience are staring Affleck out, waiting for him to make a mistake. The audience feels like the detectives investigating Amy Dunn’s disappearance. The clarity of the visuals has a similar effect, you can see every grain of detail which like the camera angles adds to the paranoia of the tone.
The trailer portrays Affleck’s character as someone who is possibly wrongfully accused, the first few seconds of the movie show that this might not be the case. This switches back when we follow Nick Dunne as he discovers that his wife has disappeared. Gillian Flynn and David Fincher always keep the viewer guessing, flipping the story on its head one hour in. What Gillain Flynn did with this story was genius, the viewer leading up to the big twist has two theories in their head, either Nick Dunne had something to do with it or one of her stalker ex-boyfriends did, the reality of the situation turns out to be neither and nobody who has seen Gone Girl can say they saw that twist coming.
Affleck was the right choice for this character, from the off Affleck becomes the character. He has the range of acting skills to bring it in a movie like this. The tone of the movie is very oppressive, the audience is put in the shoes of Nick Dunne, like him we are worn down by the flashing cameras and allegations from right-wing news sources. Dunne is always presented with suspicious lighting, his face is always lit up but he is surrounded by shadows.
I was engaged with this film from start to finish, theorising on every clue, amazed by the huge twist, which created a number of fascinating and well beautifully acted moments. I felt the creepiness and dread in the scenes where *SPOILER ALERT* Rosamund Pike’s character plotted and schemed, pulling off her evil and elaborate plans. Every actor in this movie filled their role perfectly, the characters that needed to be irritating were just that and the characters that were sympathetic were just that.
However that isn’t to say that there are clear good and evil characters, there aren’t many characters in this movie that come off well. They are all beautifully flawed and three-dimensional in their own ways. The dialogue is realistic and strong and the story is masterfully crafted, this movie definitely benefits from having the author of the book it is based on as the writer of its screenplay. Flynn doesn’t get pulled into including too much or too little, she tells the story she originally aimed to tell while still bearing in mind what will work in a movie and what needs to be omitted. This is a really strong movie that I encourage every reader to watch regardless of what they are usually used to.