A number of prominent directors have, in the past few …
Gone Girl, David Fincher’s 2014 adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name, was among my favorite films of last year. Although the performances were strong and Fincher proved why he’s one of the best in the business, the real star was Flynn: she wrote the screenplay, and her fast and funny dialogue was what made the film tick. The narrative was a compelling and sordid tale, but the witty barbs the characters constantly offered up were what best propelled Gone Girl through its two and a half hour running time.
Gillian Flynn and Hollywood are at it again. The film adaptation of his book Gone Girl, which featured the talent of Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, and Neil Patrick Harris, as directed by David Fincher, made an impression on audiences back in 2014. Now, his 2009 novel Dark Places has been turned into what’s guaranteed to be another blockbuster hit.
It is a crime against the film world to label David Fincher’s newest, ‘Gone Girl,’ with only one word or phrase. There are elements of “thriller” here, an essence of “police procedural.” There’s a teaspoon of “black comedy”, a dash of “recession-related social relevance” and a heaping helping of “media satire”
Based on Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name, Gone Girl’s literal translation and loyal adaptation acts as the film’s best friend and worst enemy. Some of the best parts of the novel work great on screen, while others are hard to portray. Since the majority of the audience is fully aware of what’s going on, widespread alterations are inevitably taken with caution, no matter how big or small. If too much of the storyline is given away too hastily, the appeal is lost before its midpoint. Unfortunately for director David Fincher, what’s left is a campy shell of a plot extracted from any remnants of wit and mystery.
Fincher is an expert chemist when it comes to concocting the nastiest tales of cynicism and darkness. Gone Girl may not be the culmination of his efforts to date, but it’s undoubtedly a sinister piece of work. There’s an oppressive air within the film, from its meticulously created soundscape and score (from Fincher alums Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) to its plasticized aesthetic. The cynical attitude is evident from the first frame, as the camera looks at the top of Amy’s (Rosamund Pike) head and Nick (Ben Affleck) says he’d like to “crack [his] wife’s head” to reveal the secrets lying in her labyrinthine brain. From that kickoff, we understand this is not a happy marriage. Maybe Fincher feels no marriages are happy.