Reel Talk: Gone Girl is very dark but immersive and incredibly well done

By Sean van der Heijden, Staff WriterDavid Fincher’s latest film adaptation, Gone Girl, is based on the wildly successful novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn. After his wife’s disappearance leaves many people believing he is the culprit, a man must piece together various clues in order to figure out what happened, and while the whole case quickly becomes the attention of the media. Intense, disturbing, and full of twists, Gone Girl starts off slowly, but becomes impossible to look away from by the end.

A lot of credit must be given to the two leads—Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike—who play Nick and Amy Dunne, a couple whose marriage slowly unravels until, on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. Affleck plays his character very smugly the whole time, but—in contrast to a lot of anger at his initial casting—he is the perfect fit for the role: ambiguous, confident, and on edge, he leaves you wondering about his character’s motivations.

The movie, however, belongs to Pike, whose character becomes stronger as the movie progresses. She goes through an impressive range of emotions in the film, acting sweet, angry, seductive, tough, devastated, and disturbing—frequently all in the same scene. She’s shockingly good and incredibly engrossing throughout.

The supporting characters, too, are all great. Neil Patrick Harris especially stands out as the creepy ex-boyfriend of Pike’s character, and Tyler Perry can actually act as the know-it-all lawyer of Nick’s. Carrie Coon provides some dark comic relief as Nick’s sister, Margo, and Kim Dickens and Patrick Fugit are very convincing as detectives of the case.

As I walked out of the movie, the only thing I knew for sure was that it was very well done. Fincher directs with precision and confidence, the cinematography is dim and moody, the editing between past and present perfectly timed and intense, and the score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross pulsates brilliantly throughout, bringing out the dark undertones of Flynn’s sharp screenplay.

This is a film that warrants so much discussion—not only in trying to figure out what the truth is, but also considering the critiques on marriage, the media, and police investigations. It may leave you feeling a little empty, a little gross, and a little confused, but Gone Girl is thought-provoking and definitely worth seeing. It’s also totally crazy and insane.

Overall: 9 out of 10.

The Skidmore Community Garden

Issues of Safety at Skidmore College and the World Beyond: A Discussion of Youthful Idealism & Harsh Realities