I did something rather happily today; something that I have previously done but not voluntarily nor very happily. But today, was different. Today I discovered that there is something intensely liberating about watching a movie alone. The theatre felt like a private screening room with just 6 audience members strewn across. And I could be alone with my thoughts, emotions, reactions and…….a Magnum Classic!!
Directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn, ‘Gone Girl‘ is a no holds barred look at a modern marriage. Having directed intense thrillers likeSe7en, Panic Room, Zodiac, Fincher delivers a winner yet again. Movies based on bestselllers usually tend to fall far short of the magic woven by the books; The Godfathertrilogy and a couple of other films being notable exceptions to this rule. I have not read the book, but if media is to be believed, then he has pulled off one of the best ever adaptations from a novel.
The opening lines seem loving till the meaning sinks in and chills you to the bone. You then see Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) walking into The Bar, a bar (surprise there!) he owns with his twin sister Margo (Carrie Coon). It is Nick and Amy’s (Rosamund Pike) 5th anniversary and while Nick seems less than happy at the prospect of Amy’s usual Anniversary Treasure Hunt, he is somewhat resigned to spending the anniversary pandering to his wife’s whims. A sudden phone call drags him back to their lovely home where he finds broken furniture and a missing wife.
The unfolding drama is what the movie is based on. Did the love and passion really go out of their marriage? Did this seemingly perfect couple reach the end of the road? Is Nick really as shocked as he seems or did he murder his wife? Did they have a happy marriage or was it a sham? Was Amy really as angelic as the world thought her to be or was she a spoilt, rich, devious woman intent on getting her own way, any way? Did Amy ever get over being the inspiration behind ‘Amazing Amy’, the wildly popular child character created and marketed by her author mother and adored by America? Do the police find Amy’s body? Does America believe Nick is innocent or would the public sentence him minus a body and a trial? Would the police be able to solve this baffling case? Would Amy’s ex boyfriends come out to help Nick? Would Amy’s parents be able to forgive Nick?
The movie has inspired casting. The supporting cast is great, with every character essaying his/her part with believable ease. Kim Dickens as Detective Rhonda Boney, Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings Amy’s college boyfriend andTyler Perry as Tanner Bolt, the lawyer who represents those who commit the worst crimes, are worthy of special mention. Ben Affleck is wonderful in his role but the movie clearly belongs to Rosamund Pike. Who else but she could pull off an Amy Dunne with such ease? Her elite, blonde perfection with a serene smile and not a hair out of place; strangely reminiscent of Kate Winslet’s April Wheeler in Revolutionary Road is spellbinding and a perfect foil for Nick’s middle class affability.
‘Gone Girl‘ will mess with your mind, but watch it anyway. It will make you question the sanctity of the so called sacred institution of marriage, but watch it anyway. It will make you question your morals, values and judgement, but watch it anyway. Watch the film if you believe that every couple that looks happy is actually happy. Watch the film if you are deeply in love and considering marriage. Watch the film if you are stuck in a marriage because it is expected of you. Watch the film if you are with your spouse even though you are two people living separate lives, because a broken home is not good for the kids. Watch the film if you have suddenly found that spark with someone outside your years of mundane matrimony. Watch it if you feel that marital problems can be made to disappear by brushing them under the carpet. Watch it if you have got out of a dead/bad marriage. And of course, watch it if you are happily single (or married!) with absolutely no problems.
Not meant for the ostriches 🙂
Copyright © Taraa Vermaa Senguptaa November 2014
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