Friday, 3 October 2014
REVIEW: GONE GIRL
149 Minutes. Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coon & Kim Dickens. Screenplay: Gillian Flynn. Director: David Fincher.
Ben Affleck is the most hated man in America right now! So says the opening lines of the trailer and the premise for his character in this movie. Still, it might be an accurate real-life reflection for how one half of the Matt Damon 'Good Will Hunting' power Boston brotherhood is perceived in the entertainment world via the internet of all trial commissioned things. This trend of social media is a recurring theme here too. You don't have to scroll far through the hash-tags and message boards to see that fan boys and girls are none too pleased that he's the next in line to play the dark knight in the new 'Batman Vs Superman' movie. After years of redeeming himself as an actor in 'The Town' and being a revolutionary Oscar winning director with 'Argo' after his 'Daredevil' flop, his return journey into superhero stardom is met with more angry rants than Christian Bale on the set of 'Terminator'. Hasta la vista, Batfleck! It's even joked about in this film that he has an untrustworthy chin. Still looking at him now, it sure appears like he will make an amazing Bruce Wayne from the suit to the cowl. Still Justice isn't dawning on us yet and after getting used to being directed again, playing the villain for the tech-cool 'Runner, Runner' last year, the man that debuted his new direction with 'Gone Baby Gone' teams up with the twisted and twist king David Fincher for 'Gone Girl'. The book adaptation of the Gillian Flynn modern day bestseller that has been milk carton missing off bookstore and library shelves by the millions itself.
Seek this one out if you can because it's more than your average book club, page turner. Just like this is more than your average Hollywood thriller, sniffing at awards and hinting at the Academy. Even with rumours of a different ending from a book that is the anti-'50 Shades Of Grey', this latest 'Hunger Games' popular novel idea will not stay on the shelf. All you need to know and what we can tell you plot wise is that Rosamund Pike's 'Gone Girl' is missing and thanks to a trial by social media, gossip and information fire, Mr. Affleck is suspected of wearing the blame of blood on his hands like a murderous glove. To say anymore would be the ultimate spoiler in this trailer and Twitter age that demands more to be known about a film before its even seen. Still when this movie is being directed by the man that kept us bewildered and guessing in the Brad Pitt, 90's double-act of 'Se7en' and 'Fight Club', easily two of the greatest movies of modern and all-time, its a 'Gone' given to trust David Fincher. He knows how to adapt amazing books into brilliant, forceful films ('The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo') and from the neo-noir, cinematography perfect looks of things he can even make a movie about something as trite as Facebook in this social shallow age and make it a definitive movie of our modern times ('The Social Network'). Here the man that made 'The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button' gives us an altogether different, race against time love story. It's clear from the first, suburban isolated outlook that the search party for the 'Amazing Amy' book-star has all the big-names in residence. From the Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, nine-inch sensational and atmospheric setting score networking to the production diaries of Reese Witherspoon. Even Flynn is on screenwriting hand and detail to turn her baby of a book into a movie darling the right way...her way.
Script and pitch perfect all we need to check out now is whose reading and the reference are more than just a big-name footnote. Forget 'How I Met Your Mother', how did Neil-Patrick Harris meet Amy? Because the superb sinister streak here from the lovable Barney is anything but funny. This really is crazy! Even the it girl from that Robin Thicke video is here to blur the lines of what is really going on. Talk about a storm in a hash-tag. Carrie Coon and Kim Dickens are about to save more famous face too as a sister in support and a cop on the case respectively. Carrie is scary good as the no b.s. reality, all loyalty relative. While Dickens is a classic cop, never far from donuts ('Dunkn' coffee mind (America apparently runs off it...I know me and mine do)) and always close to what lies beneath the blood and betrayal of the ten o'clock news and the morning gossip syndicates. Just when you thought this film that goes to the police academy of 'Zodiac' and 'Prisoners' detection was getting a little bit too much, Alex Cross gets on the case. Tyler Perry's suited and booted caring charm and his screen star charisma ties this all together like the thousand dollars keeping his shirt tied on his lawsuit and booted back. Then of course there's the happy, go F yourself couple. Affleck is amazing in the face of missing Amy. Able to simultaneously curry the favour of our sympathy one news cycle minute, only to show us he could be dastard, bastard enough to do it in a second of sentencing later. Just like the man of all sorts of directions that he is in the public eye, Affleck knows how to toe the line between peoples love and social media propaganda hate. It's a brilliant balancing act just like the mid morning taking out of the trash, both in the form of his recycling bins and the throng of press waiting outside to dig through his. Still this search is all about the girl and Pike is perfect as the absent Amy who gets to tell her side of the story through diary entries that come to flashback life. Look again at this social study of everything from domestic to technological abuse. After his Facebook film, Fincher wastes no time poking around at hot topics and trends of the moment, like a classic book that only seems to have been around for as long as it took this film to be made. This is brilliantly but brutally both horrifically unsettling but helplessly interesting. Tell me you don't want to get to the bottom of this! Although its hard to sympathize with callous characters in a film that shows no one here is truly innocent, it gives us a moral message and meaning to a two faced world. One that we parade on the internet and then differently hide behind closed doors. Read between the lines and open more than this book and you'll find more than what's 'Gone'. TIM DAVID HARVEY.