David Fincher’s latest film only further cements his status among the pantheon of great directors.
‘Gone Girl’ is a phenomenal film. It manages to be incredibly powerful and confronting and endlessly intriguing, no doubt due to the superb level of detail gone into ensuring every shot is perfect, from the cinematography to the lighting to the score to the acting.
The story takes a well-worn genre, the murder mystery/crime genre, and twists it inside out until it’s unrecognisable. Without giving away too much, the type of film you sit down to watch is not necessarily the one you’ll be discussing at the end. And you will want to discuss it. Not many films inspire as much debate and discussion around its narrative as ‘Gone Girl’. Perhaps it owes a lot of its sublime narrative cues to the novel upon which it is based, but there is no mistaking that this is a David Fincher film.
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are great actors in general but Fincher truly brings out the best of them. These are career-best performances from everyone involved in the film, including supporting actors Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry, who are perhaps better known for their comedic styles than drama. Pike is the standout though and plays such a complex, 3-dimensional Amy Dunne that it becomes hard to separate her from the character she plays.
Then there’s the lighting and camerawork, which links perfectly with the tone of each act.
‘Gone Girl’s soundtrack, too, is spine-crawlingly sinister, and acts as a recurring motif throughout the film. In fact, it’s almost impossible to see a flaw in Fincher’s latest masterpiece.
While the pacing of the film could have been improved, as the tone of each act transition so abruptly it can be confusing initially, it’s the ending of the film which will divide opinion the most. That said, this is anecdotally the case with the book too, so if it’s a flaw, it may not be all Fincher’s fault.
Regardless, ‘Gone Girl’ is the definition of a must-see film. Its engrossing drama hooks you from the beginning and doesn’t ever let go, even after the credits roll. Its narrative meanderings will be debated for years to come and that’s the way it should be.
Watch out, Hollywood, David Fincher has arrived to show you how filmmaking’s done.
READ: Daniel’s Review