Gone Girl will join the ranks of those iconic and legendary thrillers that are spoken with spine-tingling awe; with reverence; with fear; with a whisper or with sheer fright. Think Psycho; think Basic Instinct; think Silence of the Lambs or Cape Fear.
Ben Affleck’s lost boy appeal is evident in his lead role as Nick Dunne the unemployed writer and husband of the missing Amy Dunne. Rosamund Pike, perfects the role of the wife who is perceived to be vulnerable and wronged. As the story unfolds, the viewer sees Amy taking the role to a newer level.
Pike saturates herself in the part and convincingly portrays the entire spectrum of aloofness, calculating femme fatale, bewildered wife, intellectual scholar, dutiful daughter, confiding friend and a combination of manic and psychotic behaviour.
In preparation for her performance Pike confesses to studying Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct and Nicole Kidman in To Die For. In an interview with Elaine Lipworth, she says Amy “is incredibly magnetic, but her particular strength is not sexual. She has a very highly developed, challenging, complicated female brain”.
Pike also emulates the cool and aloof mannerisms of John Kennedy Jr’s wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy in playing the role of socialite Amy.
Bestseller novelist Gillian Flynn wrote the book as well as the screenplay. In defence of her second lead character, Flynn states she wanted her to be a woman who led all the way rather than ‘be the supporting character, the helpmate or adorably flawed heroine.’ She succeeds with Amy Dunne’s character.
Has Amy merely disappeared or has she been murdered by the deceptively mild husband? Is he playing the role of grieving husband or is he manipulating the media for his own end?
Nick hires Tyler Perry (Tanner Bolt), a media –savvy, New York lawyer who is well-known for handling a number of high-profile cases. Neil Patrick Harris plays Amy’s former boyfriend Desi Collings. Harris is persuasive as the besotted, well-heeled and still devoted ex-lover.
Nick, in direct contrast to Harris, can never equal Amy in any aspect of her life, be it her social standing, her intellect, her money, her career or her drive. They nevertheless appear compatible and passionate about each other.
Carrie Coon plays Nick’s supportive twin sister Margo while Kim Dickens plays the canny Detective Rhonda Boney.
Affleck was so keen to work with film director David Fincher that he deferred directing another movie to do so. ‘He’s the only director I’ve met who can do everybody else’s job better than they could,’ he enthuses.
His admiration was such that Affleck agreed for the first time in his movie career, to Fincher’s demand for the full-on European-film treatment of full frontal nudity. Fincher’s previous works include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Despite the almost innocuous title, Gone Girl will remain an iconic mystery, thriller that will be long remembered after the last credit rolls.
©Wendy Robinson 2014
Listen to what you know instead of what you fear. ~ Richard Bach