Bestseller Gone Girl adapted into chilling film


Josh Axelrod

Guy comes home. Can’t find girl. Girl is gone. Saying anything more would risk spoiling the deliciously twisty plot of new film Gone Girl. Veteran director David Fincher, famous for cryptic film masterpieces Se7en and Fight Club, knocks another one out of the park.
Gillian Flynn, author of the eponymous source material, adapted the screenplay. Fans of the original book will recognize the script as a remarkably faithful adaptation that captures everything that made the book fly off shelves in 2012. The script’s shifty narrative helps to sew a patchwork of lies that doesn’t allow the viewer to catch a breath. At two-and-a-half hours, the film never falters or drags, nor does it ever present a crystal-clear image of what the truth really is.

Ben Affleck stars as Nick Dunne, the dimwitted husband who falls under suspicion for his wife’s disappearance. While his acting skills have proved often shaky in the past, he certainly delivers here. The flawed “average Joe” persona is expertly played and supported with great performances by Rosamund Pike as his wife, Amy, and Carrie Coons as his twin sister, Margo, with whom Affleck has great chemistry.
The real noteworthy performances, though, come unexpectedly. Neil Patrick Harris is magnificent as Amy’s old flame, Desi Collings, and Tyler Perry is unpredictably slick and smooth as big-shot lawyer, Tanner Bolt.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the team that won an Oscar for their original music in The Social Network and a Grammy for their work in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, collaborate for another David Fincher film. With a pulsing score that employs their typical haunting, ominous tones, the pair succeeds yet again.

Sharon Schieber (Sela Ward): “Nick Dunne. You’re probably the most hated man in America right now. Did you kill your wife, Nick?”

Fincher’s claustrophobic direction puts the viewer right inside the action. His close and uncomfortable shots create a chilling effect. It is clear that this two-time Oscar nominee has an expert’s eye for making affecting yet stylish films.
The film contains more than mystery and thrill. Fincher grapples with relevant themes, like media culture, marriage and unemployment. The fictional town of Carthage struggles through the recession, painting a portrait of small-town America. Fincher is an expert at sneaking subtle, overlying themes into his plot-driven movies. Panic Room and Zodiac are two great movies that document this auteur’s skill.
Gone Girl is not the average thriller, so sit back, relax, and watch this spine-tingling enigma unravel.