David Fincher is one of my all time favourite directors. I have yet to see all of his movies but three of his best are Fight Club, Seven and Zodiac. Fight Club is my favourite film ever and the other two I have mentioned are very high up my list too. When the news dropped that he would be directing Gone Girl I couldn’t have been happier.
Gone Girl was advertised as a thriller, when I saw the first trailer in the cinema I got goosebumps. The collection of clips from the film accompanied by the music chosen was just perfect, it set the scene for the ultimate thriller. In my opinion this was false advertising at its most shallow. Gone Girl is most definitely not a thriller. There are a couple of scenes which would fit this genre but apart from these scenes I rarely felt any tension while watching this movie. What is the most frustrating thing is that I really wanted to like this movie, the cast included some of my favourite actors, Fincher is up there with my favourite directors and thriller is easily the genre that I enjoy watching the most. All the elements were there but for me were ruined by issues with the tone of the movie. Generally when I want to like a movie I find something in it to like and I defend the film based on that and believe me I tried to do that here but I just didn’t like this movie. The issue I have with tone comes from the fact that the packed screening I was at laughed more times and harder during Gone Girl than most comedies released this year. There was an overwhelming sense of lightheartedness throughout this entire film from many of the characters. The issue I raise reached its climax as Rosamund Pikes character, Amy, fakes a rape and murders the person she is framing and this got laughs? Really, like this was one of the more brutal scenes I have seen in a long time in terms of violence. I didn’t find it funny, but clearly I was missing something as the entire cinema erupted into laughter. I really don’t know if this was the directors intention but something has certainly gone wrong along the way. I’m pretty sure the book wasn’t meant to be funny.
On top of this I really didn’t think that there was much mystery or intrigue on offer in this film. I was never surprised by what I saw on screen. The ‘revelation’ that Amy is still alive came as no shock and there really isn’t any other explanation as the viewer sees that Ben Affleck’s character Nick wasn’t involved in the disappearance of his wife and there aren’t any other convincing suspects. The finale is flat as anything and was just quite unsatisfying. The lack of severity that many of the characters hold the events of this story in is quite alarming and just didn’t make any sense to me, because of this and the issues of tone there was a stark contrast in place anytime a character expressed real desperation or pain. The film looks great though, the actors impress from start to finish but I can’t get past all the other issues. Niel Patrick Harris was actually my biggest concern about this film, I thought his casting was a risk, a comedic actor in a role in a gruesome thriller, would it work? It did, he performed really well however I am sure that the comedic slant that this film took on the events helped in some way.
Gone Girl had a great buzz surrounding it, I hadn’t read the book myself but knew several people who had, I was confident in the big names involved and I thought this was a winning formula, clearly not. I have no doubt that this is simply another film that the masses will love whilst I sit baffled as to why everyone enjoyed it so much. I just did not get this film. Maybe if I re-watch this film by myself I would enjoy it more however the fact that I find this film hard to like despite it having so much working in its favour to start with suggests to me that I am never going to like this movie.
BIGGEST FLAW – The baffling comedic tone throughout
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Pike and Affleck were great
Rating – 5/10