by Diana Vaccarelli
Looks like I should start reading more books, as the film industry is making more and more films based on literature, contemporary and old. GONE GIRL, written by Gillian Flynn, is one of those films.
Like the book (or so every single bit of publicity about this project has told me), the film follows a man named Nick Dunne after the disappearance of his wife and shows us the media circus that develops once he is a suspect. Ben Affleck tackles the role of the charming husband with something to hide. As a fan of Affleck’s writing and directing but not so much his acting, I’m surprised to say that this role suited him perfectly. He portrays Nick with charisma and an interesting, edgy attitude that I didn’t expect.
Rosamund Pike takes on the difficult role of Amy Dunne, Nick’s rich wife. The part has many layers that Pike peels back and exposes with perfection. She definitely proves herself not only as a star but as Oscar-winning material.
I have to say, though, that my favorite character in the movie is Tanner Bolt, Nick’s Attorney, played by Tyler Perry. Perry portrays a Johnnie Cochranesque, media savvy attorney brilliantly, and his casting is a stroke of pure genius by the filmmakers.
Gillian Flynn, author of the novel, scribes the screenplay, and her work here surprised the hell out of me. Walking into the theater with my brain crammed with all the P.R. about the film, I thought I had the whole film down. I was pleasantly surprised by how wrong I was. The twists and turns often are so unexpected as to be shocking, as least to me. Ms. Flynn has earned the highest praise I can give. And GONE GIRL is her first screenplay-writing outing. Think what she’ll do next time now that she has this one under her belt!
Director David Fincher deserves a lot of credit for bringing this dark tale to what feels like more than just movie life. One of the cleverest things he has done is use rocker Trent Renznor for the music. Reznor’s sound enhances the characterizations, bringing us closer to the people on the screen (and I say “people” because that’s what they became to me, not just “characters” or “actors).
With this film Fincher brings the audience back to the days of Hitchcock and the classic mysterious women of film noir, such as Janet Leigh in PSYCHO.
GONE GIRL will keep you guessing at every turn. In the words of the late, great, and highly beloved Siskel and Ebert, I give this great film a fantastic “two thumbs up.” And I think you will too.