Review: Gone Girl (2014)

An Almost Perfect Adaptation

by Kurnia Cahya Putra

Gone Girl (2014)
Directed by David Fincher
Starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike
20th Century Fox Production

"The primal questions of a marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?" -Nick Dunne

Believe me, I was majorly pissed off when it was announced that Gone Girl was not going to be released in Indonesia. Apparently, our beloved BFI wanted to cut some shots out, and Fincher wouldn't have it. He's right, though. An art should be presented the way its creator wants it to be presented, but still! It is the one absolute movie that I've really been waiting for. I mean, I still remember very vividly the feeling I got when I saw the teaser for the first time. I got chills all over my body, and I didn't even have the faintest idea of what it was about (Fincher's teasers did that to you). The next day, I immediately borrowed the book from my classmate, and for some number of days straight, I was completely immersed in Nick and Amy's story. It is one of the best books that I've read. You'd understand my frustation upon hearing its canceled release in Indonesia, wouldn't you? Well, months later I got to watch it (on my laptop, nonetheless) and just as I thought, this movie did not disappoint.

Gone Girl tells the story of Nick (Affleck) and Amy Dunne (Pike), a married couple who has to move to Missouri after Nick's mother is diagnosed with cancer. On their fifth anniversary, Amy goes missing, and all ayes are on Nick as he becomes the main suspect soon after. That is as far as I can tell without spoiling too much, and you wouldn't want to be spoiled, believe me. To start off, I want to talk about the performances of the amazing thespians here, which by the way, were quite incredible. Ben Affleck came out as the winner as he played Nick to perfection. Exactly how I imagined the character to be. He was suave, slick, and kind of douchy. That sly grin at the press conference? Umph! Gold! Rosamund Pike gave a stellar performance as well even though I personally don't think she was as irreplaceable as Affleck was as Nick. I could think of one or two actresses that would probably do as well as her (Ali Larter and Rachel McAdams come to mind). The Oscar nomination is still warranted, though, and by the way, Affleck was robbed of one.

The rest of the cast were pretty spot-on, with maybe one exception or two. Carrie Coon made a really likable character in Nick's twin sister, Margo, as did Kim Dickens in the tough-as-nail detective, Rhonda Boney. Tyler Perry did, surprisingly, a good job as Tanner Bolt, and Emily Ratajkowski provided some great eye-candy. Oh! I also immensely enjoyed Casey Wilson's performance as Noelle Hawthorne. So fitting and so funny. Now, the exception, which was Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings. He was completely and utterly miscast in the role. Desi was supposed to be a classically good-looking preppy rich man. One that people would not want to mess with because he might be able to call his parents and ask him to make you disappear off the face of the earth. When I read the book, I personally pictured someone like Chris Pine. Harris was too nerdy looking, and he tried a little too hard, too. Come to think of it, his casting was probably the only flaw of the film.

Well, maybe not the only one, but I let some of the following slides. Yeah, there are some plot holes in the story. I mean, let's be real, Amy would not be able to pull her plan off in real-life, don't you think? The suspension of disbelief is pretty high on this one. However, whatever plot problems that this one has, the book also has them, so... you know, we can't really give the responsibility to just the film, can we? Aside from that, the story is a good satire of the marriage life, albeit a very over-the-top one, with a good balance of suspense and dark comedy. The character Amy is one of the most well-written and fascinating individuals ever put on screen. She trumped Alex Frost, a very similar character, of Fatal Attraction.

Furthermore, the score by Trent Reznor was amazing! It is probably one of the best I've heard this year, tied with Interstellar's. It perfectly captured the tone of the book. I guess you can't go wrong with a Reznor and Fincher combination, can you? Moreover, the cinematography was also very sleek, crisp, clean, and has the modern-y feel to it. And very Fincher-y, too. It's very fortunate that it fit the movie. No. It even fit the character Amy. The editing was tight as well just like any other Fincher movie, so no complaint there. And finally, the directing was superb. Geez, I really don't have anything bad to say about the technical aspect of this film.

Now, I'm gonna tell you what my favorite scene is, and spoiler alert for those of you who haven't watched the film or read the book. It's the revelation scene. I mean, Oh my God, everything about that scene was spectacular. Pike's voice, the whole cool girl monolog, the flashback to the planning, the transformation of Amazing Amy to... red-neck Amy? It was well-shot, well-scored, well-edited, and well-written. I couldn't imagine it go any better than it did. 9/10.

Kurnia Cahya Putra

A self-proclaimed movie geek.

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