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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Gone Girl | Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris | Review

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4sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD Judy Thorburn

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4lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD

 

Gone Girl

If you really think you know someone, you better think again because often you have no idea what is going on inside their mind and what they are capable of.

That point comes to light in this mystery crime drama from acclaimed director David Fincher, (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) working from Gillian Flynn's script she adapted from her global best selling novel of the same name.  The film stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as recently unemployed married writers Nick and Amy Dunn.  Amy, an only child, has received notoriety as the character based on her called Amazing Amy from a series of children's books written by her parents. The Dunn's seem to have the perfect marriage, at least from the outside, until one day Amy appears missing and their personal lives are dissected and scrutinized.

The story begins on the morning of the Dunn's fifth anniversary of their marriage.  After having a drink at the bar he owns with his wise cracking, devoted twin sister Margo (Carrie Coon), Nick returns home to his rented mansion in Missouri to find the entry door ajar, a shattered coffee table, signs of a struggle and nowhere for Amy to be found. He immediately calls the police which brings detectives Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and her partner, Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) to the house to conduct an investigation.  

As Nick is questioned, one by one, mounting evidence points to him as the only suspect responsible for his wife's mysterious disappearance and murder. What follows is a media circus that adds fuel to the fire with it biased, brutal coverage that condemns Nick, even before he is charged with a crime.  The question is did he kill her, and if so, where is her body and the murder weapon.  It soon becomes clear there is more than meets the eye

Without giving away any spoilers, suffice to say, the script moves back and forth in time from both Amy's perspective and Nick's that reveal problems in their marriage that started off with a hot and heavy courtship but a few years after tying the knot, their relationship was marred by financials issues, deep rooted resentment, jealousy and infidelity.

As the pieces of the puzzle are eventually revealed, lies, manipulation, deception and trust play major elements in this brilliantly orchestrated mind game.

Ben Affleck does a fine job as the distraught husband that has been having an affair with one of his former college students (Emily Ratajkowski) but insists he has nothing to do with his wife's disappearance, despite the discovery of damaging clues including a recently purchased million dollar insurance policy on Amy's life.

The supporting cast are all great in their individual roles. The problem I have is with the appearance of one of Amy's old flames, a good looking, rich bachelor named Desi Collings (Neil Patrick Harris, who does his best, considering the foolish role he is given) that lives in a lavish mansion.  We are supposed to believe he doesn't have a girlfriend and has been pining over Amy for over 20 years.  No way did I buy that.

The real draw and star of this film is British actress Rosamund Pike, whose started her film career as a Bond girl in 2002's Die Another Day and has since gone on to supporting roles in several films.  This is the breakout, star making role Pike needed that should catapult her career.   Proving she is more than just another pretty face, Pike shows remarkable range, delivering a standout performance in this complex, multilayered role that could very well earn her a Best Actress nomination come Oscar time.

At over 2 and a half hours long, Gone Girl is filled with twists and turns and some shocking, disturbing scenes. It isn't perfect,  but I still think this is one of the most interesting, well crafted thrillers to hit the screen this year. Well acted, directed, stylish and unforgettable, Gone Girl will stay with you and leave you thinking even after the last scene fades to black.

 

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