Director: David Fincher
Writer: Gillian Flynn
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Casey Wilson, Kim Dickens, Missi Pyle, Patrick Fugit, Emily Ratajowski
Studio: 20th Century Fox
“Gone Girl” is “Fight Club” for the ladies. Let’s stop for a moment and move past that sentence. Identity and gender politics will not go away, as we’ve entered a point in human history where every aspect of the personal experience is being made open to scrutiny. “Amazing Amy” is more than a character, she is the modern woman. More than that, she’s the idea of the modern woman. A fun girl, a happy girl, some would call her a shade of a manic pixie dream girl. But, it’s a dream and Amy is brutally aware of it. Living somewhere she hates, dealing with a man that unconsciously screws her off and she’s expected to keep up with everyone’s junk. Amy is almost at a breaking point, but she goes missing.
Nick is Amy’s husband and he owns a bar with his twin sister. Amy put up a great deal of money for the business, but it’s tanking due to the economy. Nick is cheating on his wife, because she’s starting to break the image of the fun girl. She’s mad over the money, where they leave and the fact that Nick just can’t get it together. That angry woman sucks, even though she’s pregnant and seemingly wanting to start a family. When Amy goes missing, Nick is the first person to get blamed. While there are a ton of other factors going on, let’s keep it focused on the brass tacks.
Domestic drama has been a hard push for audiences over the last twenty years. There’s a desire to keep the conflict minimal, while reassuring the audience that everything is going to be fine. Amy and Nick aren’t going to be fine, especially when Amy has to keep fighting with her duality. This is where the “Fight Club” comparisons come into play. The Fight Club narrator and Amy both get multiple chances to tell their story to the audience, but they are very hung up on creating someone else to share the burden. Both individuals want the last word, but eventually they come to realize that their creations might be better people than them.
If anything, the film is about the power of the media frenzy. Whether it’s how focused Amy and Nick’s friends are in their life, whether it’s Nick’s twin sister or the army of experts that want to come out of the woodwork; they’re all going to talk to the media. So many voices, so many opinions and very little to divine what is the truth. But, as Amazing Amy learns through the film…the truth isn’t always important. The individual can bend truth and reshape into something that works better for them. Even if it means treading into the illegal.
The film boasts an insanely well adapted screenplay by original novelist Gillian Flynn. Hell, I saw amazing shades of John Irving in Flynn’s ability to adapt her material. Then, there’s that score from Ross and Reznor. While “The Social Network” was an eye-opener, this is the work of two composers at the top of their game. The severity and pushing notes evoke Reznor’s early work with Nine Inch Nails. Plus, there’s the atmosphere it creates. So much of this film lives and dies by its ability to exploit your discomfort with the situation.
“Gone Girl” like “The Social Network” and “Fight Club” is a film for the modern era. It’s a look at how the desire to have perfection can drive people to depravity and desperate measures. What we see on the surface is never real and how sometimes there’s no concrete bottom to the pool. David Fincher is the heir apparent to Stanley Kubrick, as he is willing to craft expert style into detailed examinations of humanity’s worst moments. However, there is no Tyler Durden here. Just an angry woman who jettisons her forced persona and becomes lost in the frenzy.
RELEASE DATE: 10/03/2014