Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) goes about his usual morning routine even on the day of his anniversary and lands up in “The Bar” which happens to be his and is run by his sister. The trip back home is just as ordinary as always however a walk inside the home brings his world crashing down. His house seems to have been ransacked and his beautiful wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) is missing. The detectives are summoned who in the course of their investigation find out that Nick knows very little about his own wife. While the investigators find a series of envelopes marked as clues and apparently made by Amy, they start zeroing in on the fact that Nick may not be as innocent as he seems.
The investigation unfolds under a media frenzy and unprecedented lime light which constantly keeps piling up pressure on an already clueless Nick Dunne. As clues keep pointing towards Nick’s guilt and various other elements including a secret lover makes matters worse for him, he has no one but his sister Margo (Carrie Coon) to help him in his pursuit to clean his name and find his wife. But as circumstantial evidences keep piling up, he is implicated of conspiring to either have his wife killed or kidnapped by the detectives. In desperation Nick turns to Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry), a battle hardened attorney who is the only person other than Margo to view Nick as innocent.
Gone Girl unfolds in two parallel tracks. One track shows present time when Amy is missing and the efforts of the detectives and the people around Amy to find her. The second track is shown from the perspective of Amy as written in her diary chronicling the events from the first time she met Nick to their marriage and subsequently to the period when their marriage lost its shine and her realizing the fact that her husband was disinterested in her and could actually kill her. The two tracks converge by the half way mark and that brings about a major jolt to the story taking away everything that you might have set your mind on thus far.
I thought that the film was done showing what it had up its sleeves at the half way mark, but that was just half the story. The manner of Amy’s return to her husband is just as shocking as the way in which she was taken from him. The characters of both Nick and Amy constantly keep toggling between grey and white shades to the extent that it becomes impossible to put a color on them. Suffice is to say that “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. For all those who have already read the book, this film will only serve as a video log of the events that they might have already absorbed. However since Gillian Flynn herself wrote the script for this film, we can obviously be sure of its close proximity to the actual work ignoring the little cinematic liberties which have to be taken to condense the material into a two hour affair.
Ben Affleck is tremendous in a role which demanded a lot. He starts off as a hapless husband, transforms into a sort of a villain who was willing to part ways from such a lovely wife and by the end again gets back to his clueless self now under the thumb of a wife he has no way of running away from. In each of these acts he successfully convinces not only the audiences but himself too of his current state. Rosamund Pike is a darling for most of the part and then subsequently turns into a vengeful woman who is willing to die to see her husband suffer and follows it up with being an almost sociopath like adversary who would stop at nothing to get back to her husband. She too complements Affleck scene for scene. Carrie Coon as Nick’s sister is wonderful. She is like the castle of solitude for Nick and her little chats with Nick only make our understanding of his character clearer. Tyler Perry and Kim Dickens excel in their respective roles. Kim Dickens as detective Rhonda Boney is a class act balancing tough and sober perfectly in her act.
Now a few words for one of my favorite directors, David Fincher. Fincher who had gone lame with his previous film, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo makes a smashing return to form. The script and source material might have been of the highest order, but his execution of the film was flawless and spot on which was one of the major reasons behind its considerable Box Office success as well as it finding takers in the critic community. The Fincher fans will find his trademark style in every scene dripping wet with dream like imagery, perfectly angled shots, lots of dialogs between character and above all, edge of the seat thrills.
Gone Girl is a rousing thriller with enough human drama to get even the most ardent lover of art cinema interested. But make no mistake’ Gone Girl is entertaining as hell. Once you get used to its rather leisurely pace, the film has a lot to offer. It builds up like an orgasm. Slow to start but by the time it reaches the climax, it has you in the edge of your seat and seriously out of breath. It is one of the best thrillers of the year so far and missing it would be a big mistake. Watch it if you haven’t already.