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Tangled Webs We Weave: Gone Girl

October 7, 2014

Gone Girl Review by Ron Wells

Ah, the tangled webs we humans weave. Gone Girl may not be believable in every aspect of its narrative, but so what, this is the kind of movie that keeps you glued to screen, even if it is 2 hours and 25 minutes long. Don’t let anyone tell you where it’s going ahead of time because half the fun is trying to figure out how it’s going to get to its final destination.

The subject is love, or more precisely, marriage, which may or may not have something to do with each other. In this case, the seemingly perfect couple, Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike) seem to have everything going for them. Both are successful writers, money is not a problem, they are witty, bright, and their relationship is on solid ground. But as often happens in life, the economy goes bad, life intrudes in unexpected ways, and the dominoes begin to fall.  A move to Missouri doesn’t help, and the film begins on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary. 

Amy is the “gone girl” of the title, for she disappears on the aforementioned anniversary and is nowhere to be found. Evidence eventually begins to suggest that she may have been murdered.
And that’s where the “fun” begins.

To tell any more is to tell too much. The movie takes twists and turns that you will have a hard time figuring out in advance, which just adds to the enjoyment. Ultimately, though, this is not about fun, nor enjoyment. There is a darkness, even an evilness, that permeates the story, and though sometimes a bit farfetched, will have you enthralled during its presentation. Director David Fincher (The Social Network, Fight Club; Seven) has taken Gillian Flynn’s screenplay (from her own bestselling novel) and draws you in to a point where you are willing to believe anything that happens on-screen as it winds its way deeper into a black hole of mystery, suspense, and the  unknowability of hearts and minds.
The entire cast, top to bottom, is wonderfully superb with enough back story on the primary characters to make anything and everything seem plausible.The Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross soundtrack is pitch perfect for this kind of movie and they will probably get another Academy Award nomination.
Yet, it is Pike (Pride and Prejudice, Die Another Day) who is the discovery here. Both through her voice-over and in her interactions with Affleck, she not only holds her own, but guides the audience into places where only the best actresses have the ability to lead them.

Nick’s opening words come back hauntingly by the end when he asks the “primal question” about a relationship with your partner: “What are you thinking?” And the follow-up question is: “What have we done to each other?” In answering these questions, Fincher doesn’t miss any details, such as when Nick and his twin sister, Margo (Carrie Coon in a sensational supporting performance) play the board game, “Life,” as he puts the husband and wife in the little toy car making its way around the crazy twists and turns on the playing surface. Add to this the odd Valentine’s Day purchase that Amy makes, and one does have to wonder about the relationship between this husband and wife. 
Is marriage really how “we cause each other pain?”For these two characters all of the above are relevant questions, and the answers are tangled up in that spider web of love, mystery, darkness, and evil intents. One thing marriage is not is a little car driven by stick figures on a board game. Oh no, it’s a tad more complicated than that.Just ask Nick and Amy. Their answer as to what lurks beneath the surface of a marriage —or at least what their marriage has turned into—becomes the tale that is this movie’s reason for being.
For a mainstream film, this is as good as it gets. The only ones not voting for it as one of the 10 best films of the year will be those who are romantic at heart.


Official Trailer Notes: Gone Girl | Official Trailer: GONE GIRL — directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn — unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?In Theaters – October 3, 2014Cast: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Scoot McNairy, Neil Patrick HarrisSoundtrack: the Gone Girl WEBSITE:
Ron Wells is a avid film and music fan who often volunteers as a guest blogger on Art Predator.  He lives in Orange County where he is a private tutor for autistic and non-autistic students specializing in reading, writing and speaking. A CA Credentialed teacher with 15 years experience, he is now accepting new students who  live in Newport, Irvine, and So. Orange County areas. Contact: rwwells11 AT gmail DOT com and on Facebook at

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 10, 2014 6:02 am

    Loved the book. Looking forward to seeing it!

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