*Don’t Fret: No Spoilers Present*
Hollywood’s latest obsession these days is adapting books into movies. Most of the time I’d say they are done rather well and lead to successful films/franchises. Sometimes, they are terrible. Thankfully, Gone Girl is successful both as a film and as a book-to-movie adaptation.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the premise by now. Nick Dunne comes home on the fifth anniversary of his wedding to find that his wife is mysteriously not present. Audiences question what Nick says and does. Wonder what really happened and why. Audiences ask themselves Could he have… ?
Seeing as how the screenplay was written by Gillian Flynn herself (the author of the novel), it’s not a surprise that the movie was written so well. The adaptation is as faithful as possible, cutting out some unnecessary sequences while remaining true to the source material. If you have any interest in seeing this movie, I would recommend reading the book first. However, if you don’t, you won’t be left in the dark about any plot details. Everything is presented clearly and in an entertaining way.
The cast of the film is spectacular. From the stars Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck to secondary cast members Carrie Coon, Tyler Perry, and Kim Dickens, the entire cast is damn near perfect. I want to give special attention to Neil Patrick Harris — he took his character and made him even more creepy than he was in the book. I loved each scene Harris was in. But really, Rosamund Pike stole the show. I hadn’t seen much of her work before this so I didn’t know how good she could be for the role. Wonderfully, Pike plays an amazing Amy (get it?) and I loved how haunting her voice was when the narration plays from her journal entries.
The spooky and suspenseful atmosphere was aided by the music. Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails) and Atticus Ross collaborated on the soundtrack and I wouldn’t be surprised if they won another Academy Award for their work.
One thing I thought the film could have benefited from was a first person narration from Nick Dunne. The book alternates between Nick’s narration and Amy Dunne’s journal entries but in the film the only narration we get is from Amy and her journal. Some of my favorite lines from the book were from Nick’s perspective and I felt like if the audience could have heard some of Nick’s thoughts (“It was my fifth lie to the police. I was just starting,” etc.), it could have enhanced the suspense of the film and would have added to the audience’s distrust of Nick. The film does of good job of keeping audiences questioning Nick.
Additionally, I feel like more background could have been given to Amy. I always loved her little quizzes in her journal yet they were not featured in the film. Also, her despise for “Amazing Amy” could have been a little bit more developed. “Amazing Amy” was a big part of the book yet it was not explored in the film as much as it could have been.
I don’t know if I have anything else to criticize about the film. Some may complain about it’s long run time (about two and a half hours) but the film never seems obnoxiously long. It moves at a great pace and never gets bogged down by unnecessary or boring scenes. The fair amount of black humor present (even in some of the most serious scenes) also makes sure that the audience doesn’t lose interest.
I definitely think Gone Girl is a film that deserves the price of admission. It’s going to be one of those movies that leaves people talking for weeks after release and again once the awards season kicks in. On that note, I think the two leads are both deserving of Oscars. Pike and Affleck alone make the movie worth going to see in theaters. If you go, you won’t be disappointed.