Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)

What's it about? On his 5th wedding anniversary Nick (Ben Affleck) reports his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing. As the police investigate and the media begin to take an interest, suspicion starts to fall upon Nick himself. Is their marriage all that it seems? What happened Amy and how much does Nick really know? Based on Gillian Flynn's best-selling novel, which everybody loved (until the end).

Is it any good? To help me review this, I invited a married couple I know along to watch it. With one day gone since they watched it, here's their thoughts.

OCTOBER 8, 2014
- Diary entry -

We were invited out to watch the film Gone Girl last night. We never go out any more, so it seemed like a chance to re-capture the early days of our marriage. I had read the source novel, although my husband had not. (He never reads anything any more, except his Twitter feed). So I was familiar with the plot, which includes the usual genre contrivances and outlandish plot developments. So for me, it was less a matter of what things happen, as how things happen. And they happen in very slick fashion, well assembled by Fincher, with good performances from the leads and supporting characters, and a pleasingly dark sense of humour underpinning the story - it obviously doesn't take itself too seriously. It's probably inevitable that the (unpleasant) lead characters and their motivations are less complex than the book, but I couldn't help feeling that Nick got an easier ride than Amy here, and how typical of Hollywood that it is she who gets her kit off more often than him. (Of course, my husband perked up during those bits. How predictable). Whereas the book had more ambiguity and balance, here there is no doubt as to whose side we should be on, which is disappointing. That said, Amy's 'Cool Girl' tirade about male expectations of their female partners remained, and how gratifying to see several men in the audience shift uncomfortably during that scene. (Except for my husband, who seemed more interested in noisily scoffing his nachos and congealed cheese. Also typical). The other interesting aspect is the trial-by-media element, an all-too-believable depiction of how the actual truth of what has happened is less important than what story the media and, by extension the rubber-necking public, want to see. So there is some food for thought amongst the red herrings, which prompted me to try and talk to my husband afterwards about the appearances within our own marriage. Back home, I initiated some love-making, in the hope that afterwards we could have an honest open discussion about our relationship, the way we used to do when we first met. But he just rolled over, muttered that he loved me and I just said I loved him too, which is what men want to hear from their wives. Then I lay awake wondering if I should leave him. Or perhaps he might leave me. Or maybe I should buy a gun. Or maybe.....just maybe.....

OCTOBER 8, 2014
-Twitter Entry-

Seen Gone Girl with the ball-and-chain. Pretty good, but far-fetched. Still, got some nachos to eat and a shag, so that was good. #result

I don't trust this couple. What do others think? Are you calling my friends unreliable narrators? Shame on you. The film has sparked a number of articles about its various flaws and merits, for example here, here and here. However, I can summarise as follows:

In the Red Corner : It's all about female empowerment, not to mention a satirical commentary on Keeping Up Appearances in today's society.

In the Blue Corner : It's a misogynist, ridiculous thriller with potentially dangerous messages about rape. And what has Hyacinth Bucket got to do with it?

In the other corners : Jeez, it's just a film, folks.

What does the Fonz think? Spleens from a marriage.

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