GONE GIRL | MOVIE REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

I love David Fincher, easily one of my favourite directors of all time that is both gritty and dark and original in his take on stories and his inconsistency in genre. He is always challenging himself and always presenting something different. They are all however dark films. My favourite film of his is easily THE GAME, this film changed my younger years and it has always been in my top 20 films of all time since seeing it. GONE GIRL is very different, a film I went into blind. I did not see a trailer, I did not read a synopsis and all I knew was ‘wife goes missing, husband blamed.’ What I discovered was a very Fincher film, one with twists and turns and black bleak comedy, I thoroughly enjoyed the hell out of it. GONE GIRL is out today from 20th Century Fox, it is rated MA15+ and runs for 149mins. On a side note, our fantastic friends at Hachette Australia have given us three copies of the world famous book by Gillian Flynn to giveaway – find out how to win after the review.

 

GONE GIRL MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
GONE GIRL | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JASON KING 

Nick Dunne wakes up on the morning of his and his wife’s fifth wedding anniversary and eventually finds his wife missing. He informs the police, goes through question time with them, gets the town involved and commences searching and/ or raising awareness. As time moves forward and evidence builds things start looking pear shaped for good old Nick. You see Nick is a bit of a lazy slob through circumstance, and he makes many a mistake with life in general and during the investigation. The world turns against him and then BOOM – MASSIVE PLOT TWIST. If you have read the book, you will know what I am talking about – if not then enjoy the movie!!

As the movie was playing along I was unsure why Fincher had chosen to make this film from the world wide famous book from Gillian Flynn. It just sounded so “common” a story, something more suited to a telemovie. But then the twist happened and the film turned into a commentary on relationships and manipulation and a hysterical (at times) look at the media and how it too can be manipulated and used for and against people. It was a little like TO DIE FOR in some respects but the film turned more into a mix of THE STEPFORD WIVES meets PSYCHO. Hitchcock would have made this movie if the book was released in his time.

 

GONE GIRL MOVIE IMAGE
GONE GIRL | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | NICK DUNNE (BEN AFFLECK) AND AMY DUNNE (ROSAMUND PIKE) – THE HAPPIER DAYS

 

Fincher directs yet another solid stylised film. It is just eery, the entire film has this bleak tone to it, from colouring to music, pace and feel. It feels grey. His use of dark humour and social commentary is so black comedy that most people will not even notice and just find the film odd, but if you can see his commentary, or more his and Flynn’s commentary on the screen you will actually find the film more humorous than macabre. It is here I need to discuss the music for the film. A match like bacon and eggs, cheese and wine, pizza and me, is the match of Fincher with Reznor/ Ross. Reznor/ Ross have now been dubbed the Fincher House Band and their collaboration since THE SOCIAL NETWORK has lifted Fincher films into an even better place. The soundtrack/ score for this film is so subtle I hardly noticed it. Long languid notes that Fincher described as “spa music” – it is those hypnotic tunes you literally hear when you are having a day spa treatment or a foot massage (as I just did in Bali – #bliss). I paid little attention to the music but the music added that tone of surreal to the entire film and since watching the film I have actually bought the soundtrack and I bloody love it. Under that melody you can still hear that NiN influence. Just brilliant.  See below and you can play one of the songs – SUGAR STORM in the Soundcloud window – in fact play it while reading the review – well worth it and you will get the tone of the film.

 

 

The acting in the film is superb. Affleck is lovable and a bit of a goose. His character and character’s wife are living marriage, it is hard and you really do have to work for it. You need to have that regular spark and it always helps if neither of you is batshit crazy. He has fallen back into his small town life and really lost his aspirations, aspirations and a sparked personality that his wife, Amy, fell in love with him over. The film looks into the way we are different people when we are courting as we are out to impress. This and all the other social commentary is incredibly insightful – I think I will stay living with my cat and collect shopping trolleys when I get older. So, Affleck good, then we have Rosamund Pike as Amy – I see a nomination for Oscar in 2015. I don’t think she will win it but her performance is impressive, different, humorous and at times, bipolar. She is the quintessential Stepford Wife and she owned the Kidman performance.

I have to say though that besides the sister (Margot Dunne played by Carrie Coone) and ex “stalker” (Desi Collings played by Neil Patrick Harris) I felt all the other performances just subtle and nearly inconsequential – they were all admirable and nobody faulted, but they were grey and background. I liked Kim Dickens as Detective Rhonda Boney but besides being a witness and a thorn in Nick’s backside she is pretty useless. I was half expecting her to have a FARGO styled ending but alas that is not the story. I also thought that Patrick Fugit as Officer Jim Kilpin was a waste of a character, he has one decent line at the end of the film and that was pretty much it.

 

GONE GIRL MOVIE IMAGE
GONE GIRL | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | NICK DUNNE (BEN AFFLECK) STUPIDLY SMILING IN FRONT OF A POSTER OF HIS MISSING WIFE

 

Another understated and somewhat creepy performance that I did enjoy was that of Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings. A film on his character would be just as enjoyable. It was so understated it was also background and flat but it suited the tone of the film.

One thing I do want to mention is how the media is banging on about full frontal nudity in the film and how you get to see mini Patrick Harris and mini Batfleck. If the media is thinking this is best thing to discuss in the film they truly are pathetic. Firstly I did not even notice Batfleck showing off unless we got a cut version (ooh unintentional pun) and yes Mr Patrick Harris has a glimpse but seriously the body parts of both men are just that – report on the film please!!!

I was disappointed with the ending of the film – I am unsure of the ending of the book – if you want a SPOILER CLAD COMPARISON – GO HERE. I truly did want a FARGO styled ending with a wood chipper or even a Fincher styled SE7EN head in the box would have been awesome.

Ending aside the film is brilliant, much more clever than many films at the moment and swarming in Fincher awesome. Let us know what you think if and when you see it.

 

4 Pops

 

With special thanks to HACHETTE AUSTRALIA to win one of the 3X BOOKS of GONE GIRL you need to either like and share this post on Facebook or retweet/ favourite it on Twitter, you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer to the following question:

What is your favourite David Fincher film and why?  Mine would be THE GAME with Michael Douglas (LOVE THAT MOVIE).

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter then get with the times old timer haha – You can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter on the website).

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent in the next week. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.