At its heart, Gone Girl is social commentary disguised as a well-crafted murder-mystery. The film starts with the mystery of a missing woman, Amy Dunne. As the film goes on, it takes a turn from the straight and narrow and slowly builds the tension as the story becomes more distorted. Gone Girl attempts to challenge the viewers perception of relationships, media, and the attitudes of the police. All the while trying to keep the tone of a quirky mix of humor and drama. Even before its release the film was reported to be in the running for an Oscar, but it was in no way overhyped.
Ben Affleck’s character, Nick Dunne, starts off his anniversary by finding his wife missing and his living room trashed. The more the film goes on, the more Dunne becomes a suspect in Amy’s disappearance and possible murder. Gone Girl shows how the media can misrepresent a person and end up ruining their life. Also, the film touches on how the police can make predetermined judgments based on personal prejudices. As the film begins, the mystery seems straight forward, but by the halfway point the film takes a U-turn and never looks back. Some films build to one single twist that limits the ability to re-watch the film, but Gone Girl is re-watchable due to a major twist being placed in the middle of the film and it doesn't even stop there with the twists. The writing is spot on. Gillian Flynn writes a fantastic adaptation of her own book of the same name. David Fincher elevates the story and then some with his precise framing and excellent directing. Until the end, the film doesn't drag on since the story engulfs you in its mystery. The ending is fitting, but it runs too long once it becomes predictable.
The story is successful due to its strong ensemble cast. Ben Affleck pulls off a great performance as a character stuck in a nightmare that may be partly his own making. Even Tyler Perry jumps out of his Madea films to finally show his acting chops. Neil Patrick Harris however brings a great performance. Due to Harris mostly starring in comedies, some viewers might find it hard to take him serious at first, but he soon proves his worth as the film goes on. Even with all the good performances, Rosamund Pike blows away everyone else. Her range is off the charts. She dominated every scene she was in with perfect handling of her character. If not an Oscar winner, she is definitely an Oscar nominee.Surprisingly, Gone Girl had a prominent amount of humor that never got in the way of the drama. This film was created under a magnifying glass just like Fincher’s other films. More than most films, everything has parallels, meanings, symbolism. This might be due to the film originally being a book, but it’s great to be able to analyze a film and get to that secret layer underneath. Gone Girl digs up hard topics and explores them to a great extent. Overall, Gone Girl passes the barriers of storytelling and becomes something else, something beautiful.