Finally! One of the most anticipated bookish movie adaptations is here. Produced by Reese Witherspoon, directed by David Fincher and adapted to the screen by its author, Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl (2014) stars Rosamund Pike as Amy and Ben Affleck as Nick. And it is one great adaptation. I will keep this short and talk about some key issues. Please beware this review contains spoilers.
The movie follows the book’s structure: the first third is Nick’s version of the story; the second third is Amy’s and the third one is a common narrative, the Dunne’s dialogue. And, regarding early reports, Flynn has not changed the controversial ending, so, as it happened with the book, either you will love it or you will hate it.
Running at 146 minutes, the movie is a faithful adaptation of the book. Although I read Gone Girl some time ago, I could identify the key scenes and I was in awe at Affleck’s – and above all – Pike’s execution. Their acting is just perfect, even though at first I was not at all convinced by Pike. I had seen her in Pride and Prejudice (2005) and some other British movies and I doubted whether she could as dark as Amy’s character needs. I am happy to report that she does, and I do hope she gets an Academy Award for this role (same for FIncher and Flynn). Affleck, on the other hand is as insipid and as common as Nick’s character needs him to be. The best part of the movie? When he smiles in front of her wife’s missing poster.
While doing promotional appearances recently, Affleck revealed Fincher filmed him coming out of the shower, implying full frontal nudity. Well, there is not such scene, but there is nudity and a few professional sex scenes. Affleck quoted Fincher saying he wanted Gone Girl to be like a European movie, where nudity would not be a scandal, but totally integrated in the narration. It works perfectly and you never feel nudity is free, it is there to serve the plot and tell Nick and Amy’s story.
However, I was not really happy with the ending, even though it is supposed to be the same. I remember when I read the book, I felt Nick stayed with Amy because although Amy was slightly more psychopathic, he is not innocent either. But in the movie, Nick is portrayed as trapped with Amy – and his sister cries with anger and pain at seeing him like this – and has to stay with her because of the pregnancy. I think this victimization does not match the character study the book is.
But, above all, Gone Girl is both an amazing movie and an amazing adaptation of a controversial book. I cannot wait til its Blu-ray release so that I can re-watch at home and delight myself in Amy’s evil intelligence and masterful manipulation. I am short for words because although I could write 1,000 words on the movie, words cannot explain the feeling you get when you actually hear Amy disses the cool girl image, or the ambivalence when she returns home covered in blood and Nick hugs her and insults her. If you loved the book, I think you should watch the movie. And, then, this in-depth interview with Rosamund Pike. Enjoy!