Speechless. That is how I felt when leaving the theatre upon watching Gone Girl (2014).
Synopsis (IMDB): With his wife’s disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected that he may not be innocent.
This movie was just full of surprises, and things unexpected. Don’t get me wrong – from all the rave reviews raging across the internet and friends gushing with good things to say, I knew the movie was going to be good. I just didn’t know that I would be so shocked, continuously being surprised over and over again as the plot progressed. Some of the imagery in this film was definitely disturbing, and will continue to haunt me probably for the next month. It’s always odd to say this, but critiquing films may be the one time where having nightmares about them actually signifies a good thing.
One thing that I liked right off the bat – the design. The poster is wonderful. It is simple. It is clean. It is mysterious. It is creepy. It says enough, without saying much. It uses a great font. The continuation and incorporation of this design scheme into the film itself was done really well. Starting with the credits in the opening sequence, eerie shots of the neighbourhood would blink by, with certain credits written in basic, TINY writing in the corners of the screens. I absolutely loved this. I don’t need someone’s name slabbed across the screen, blocking the image. Obviously, these credits are important, and these people deserve to be recognized onscreen, but this subtle way of doing it in this film got the message across without being obnoxious, while also keeping the overall feeling of the film consistent. Furthermore, as the film progressed, the times would be displayed as subtitles in the corner of the screen (Ex. ONE DAY GONE), in the same font/size/style/location etc. and I absolutely loved the subtle consistency throughout.
The structure and timing of this was also amazing. Not moving too slow or fast, this film was easy to follow – but didn’t leave you bored. I also liked how the entire film didn’t just contain Nick Dunne’s search for his missing wife. Without giving away any spoilers, there were definitely different sections within this film, where the current situation between the couple would change drastically. Now – that may not make any sense to anyone who hasn’t seen this movie, but I hope it kind of makes sense to those who HAVE seen it…
One thing though, I believe there were a few editing slip ups. While I can’t remember exact moments right now – I do remember watching the film, and jumping a little (not in a good way) at startling, awkward cuts. That being said – this movie was honestly so good that I didn’t even care.
The performances in this were fantastic! Rosamund Pike is CREEPY. She definitely got her part down perfectly, showing not only the basic “crazy” side of her character, but sort of a well-rounded, faceted model of deeper craziness strands. Again – I don’t think that makes sense, but it does in my mind. Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne was also great. While definitely a more contained character than his counterpart, he did a great job at showing that his character was also just human, essentially. One more shoutout? Neil Patrick Harris as Pike’s stalker ex-boyfriend was amazing! As much as I love How I Met Your Mother, it’s nice to see him expand. Man, this guy is eerie.
One last note – I absolutely love when films repeat shots throughout the film. Especially when the repeating shot commences the movie, and then finishes it. It just ties everything together very nicely. Additionally, the repeated shots in this particular film were represented in such different ways, with such different meanings and feelings, that I was left thinking – that can’t have been the same shot. No way. And then I realized it was. Crazy. This was done very well.
Moral of this movie? Everyone is crazy, and I am never getting married.
just my rating: ★★★★★