"Gone Girl" Review: Does This Film Say Anything About Life?

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike star in "Gone Girl."

Last weekend, my dear husband and I went to see the box office hit "Gone Girl."

The movie is based on the bestselling novel by author Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the film's screenplay. It's directed by David Fincher — who's responsible for "Fight Club" and, more recently, "The Social Network" and "House of Cards." The cast includes Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne and Rosamund Pike as his wife, Amy Dunne.

Nick gets called home from work one day by a neighbor who says the Dunnes' cat has escaped the house and is hanging out in the driveway. When Nick goes home, he discovers signs of a struggle, and his wife is nowhere to be found. A police investigation and media frenzy ensues, and we're given a tour of the Dunnes' formerly happy five-year marriage via Amy's journal entries read in voiceover.

Before watching the movie, I read a couple of reviews for my job that described it as a psycho-satire and suburban noir.

I think both of those descriptors are apt, the former because main character Nick is no Liam Neeson straight-man/hero, and the latter because this is not your typical tidy missing-wife drama. None of the characters are truly likable, not even the ones we root for.

All of that aside, there's one thing that's been sticking with me since my husband and I discussed the movie. 

He said that while he thought the story was gripping and engrossing, he didn't think it said anything about real life, and that's ultimately why he wouldn't give it five stars.

I've been thinking a lot about that. While I agree the psychotic plot twists don't come close to mirroring anything in our life, I think the film does comment on reality.

Marriage is a character in this movie, and so is the media. The protagonists are shaped and changed by both, just as we all are in reality.

Nick and Amy Dunne's relationship plays out in an extreme way, but it is an example of unchecked human dysfunction and psychoses. We can find similar examples in history or even in present-day reality.

I just hope I don't have to run into any of them. ;)

Share your perspective

If you've seen the movie — and please, no spoilers for those who haven't — I'd like to hear if it speaks to you about real life. Leave me a comment here or over at my Facebook page.

Read more posts in the Fine Art Friday series here.

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1 comment:

Adam said...

"It is an example of unchecked human dysfunction." You've got me thinking about all the "checked" examples in real life, and those can still be pretty creepy.

Even with the uncreepy examples of marriage changing people ... The one thing we can't argue is, "Marriage doesn't change people!"

So I'll grant that's a realistic point of the movie. So is this: if you base your identity on being better than other people, you will be a monster to other people.

Nice post, Rachel.