Gone Girl: a web of secrets and lies

Oct 03, 2014

An elaborate web of deceit and betrayal unfolds in director David Fincher’s tense psychological thriller Gone Girl.

Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn (who also wrote the screenplay), the film tells the story of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), a seemingly ordinary man whose life is thrown into chaos by the mysterious disappearance of his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike).

As the investigation continues, Amy’s vanishing becomes the focus of a media frenzy and soon the entire nation is watching Nick’s every move. When a series of startling clues cast doubt on his innocence, he is thrust into a witch-hunt which threatens to expose his darkest secrets. The question is: Is Nick a killer, or is his perfect marriage hiding a more sinister secret?

Gone Girl is full of twisted mind games and suspicious characters. The complexity of the plot means further explanation would risk revealing vital clues; suffice to say, a gripping cat and mouse game ensues.

Pike delivers a strong performance as Amy, a complicated woman whose own secrets rival those of her husband, while Affleck shines as the equally complex Nick. The pair’s on-screen chemistry enables them to switch effortlessly from passion-fuelled love scenes to moments of pure loathing; psychologists would have a field day with these characters. Neil Patrick Harris plays Amy’s ex-boyfriend, Desi Collins, while Kim Dickens is Rhonda Boney, the detective at the centre of this bizarre investigation.

Clever scriptwriting ensures the suspense is maintained until the film’s final, shocking moments, while an eerie soundtrack creates a sense of foreboding and fills the awkward silent moments between characters.

At 149 minutes, Gone Girl is long – perhaps a little too long. With its dark themes, the film shines an unpleasant light on the shadier side of marriage, posing the disturbing question: how much do we really know about the person we love?


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