Movie Review – Gone Girl

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I caught Gone Girl this weekend and I have mixed feelings about it. I thought the story was compelling but I hated the direction and cinematography. So I’m not sure if I can say I loved it.

The premise is that Nick Dunne comes home to find his wife, Amy, has disappeared on the day of their 5th anniversary. There are signs of a struggle in the living room and he can’t find his wife anywhere. He contacts the police, who are somewhat cold and stand-offish.

Nonetheless, Nick cooperates with the police in their investigation of his wife’s disappearance. He surrenders his house to allow the police to search and shortly the whole thing becomes a media parade. Is she dead? Has she been kidnapped? Did Nick have anything to do with it? The missing woman becomes a sort of folk hero and a larger than life symbol for oppressed women.

Naturally, things continually go south for Nick. It looks bad. It looks really, really bad for him and public opinion gets worse and worse.

I don’t want to provide any spoilers but I will say there are some very nice and well executed twists. The writing is excellent, dialogue and characterizations spot on. Very well done in that regard. And the story is better than most recent thriller/mysteries I’ve seen lately.

What I didn’t like was the grainy, faded cinematography that had the look of a student film in my opinion. I imagine that choice was made to give the story a texture of grit and a feeling of hopelessness, but for me it just made it hard to follow and in some case see what was going on. Also the transitioning from one scene to the next was done oddly. If you watch the film, you’ll see what I mean. I found that very distracting. And the story jockeyed back and forth from present day to the past, which if you looked away from the screen for a minute could be really confusing. And flashbacks, especially when there are a lot of them are hard to do well in a film because it makes you feel like you’re standing still.

Overall, I’d say the film was worth the price of admission and would give a three out of five on the viewing scale.

So, if you’re looking for a decent mystery that may surprise you in the end, you’ll probably enjoy this one.