Last week I finally watched Gone Girl after devouring the book in two days. Obviously SPOILERS for this review of both the novel and the movie, but I don’t know anyone who still doesn’t know the twist.
Admittedly, I slacked off on reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl novel when it first came out, even after hearing all the great reviews. But because of all the buzz generated by the movie, I finally had to read it. And I officially jumped on the Flynn bandwagon. I can’t wait to read her other novels. Her writing style is right up my alley. I fell in love with Diary Amy, just like I was supposed to. I felt betrayed and bewildered like Nick. Flynn is masterful as a puppeteer, playing with your emotions, building suspense, luring you into the twisted world she has built. The novel’s dark humor is probably my favorite thing about the book. There are definitely some solid laugh out loud moments and jarring truths about relationships and marriage that add to the realism of the story. At one point you do realize that Nick is being framed but that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment. I love stories that aren’t completely black and white, ASOIAF-style, and that’s exactly what you get here. There is no clear hero in the story. The ending left me ambivalent but I liked that. Amy gets away with murder, traps Nick into staying with her by having his child. Neither of them are actually happy about their situation. Is Amy even capable of happiness? This book challenges the notions of justice, morality and love. If you still haven’t picked it up, you’re missing out.
Now onto the movie review. I thought surely the film wouldn’t be able to meet my overly high expectations but it was a great adaptation. Fincher rose to the challenge, as expected, and as a fan of the book, I was very happy with the way it turned out. Even if I knew what was going to happen, it was still suspenseful. I still felt nervous at times thanks to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score as well as knockout performances by Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon and Kim Dickens. The women were amazing and really brought Flynn’s characters to life, embodying them perfectly. Special mention to Rosamund Pike for portraying the brilliant, manipulative, charming and insane Amy. She might get a nod for it. My boyfriend, Keith, wants Carrie Coon to get a nomination for playing Nick’s sister Margo. Not too much to say about Ben Affleck and Neil Patrick Harris other than they were their usual great selves and I’m a fan of both of them. Flynn adapted the screenplay which could explain why it was very true to the books but she also didn’t hesitate to cut unnecessary plot points, such as Amy’s best friend who allegedly tried to impersonate her. Desi’s murder was also portrayed differently from the book but the outcome still had the same shocking and horrifying effect. It was also pretty interesting to watch it with Keith who’s from St. Louis, Missouri. He recognized that they shot on location and said that for the most part, they got the accents right, except for Casey Wilson’s over-the-top one. Plus seeing Ben Affleck rock St. Louis Cardinals apparel was very entertaining. I look forward to watching it again and seeing what I didn’t catch in the first viewing.
Read the book and go see the movie or just do one or the other, either way you’ll be very glad you jumped on the Gone Girl bandwagon as well.