I love you, but I hate you. I miss you, but I am better off without you. I want you out of my life but I can never actually let you go.
No matter how cheesy it sounds when spoken out of context. But if you’ve seen Gone Girl, you would know how David Fincher would interpret this same line in his film.
On the morning of their fifth anniversary, Nick Dunne’s (Ben Affleck) beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike) disappears from their rented house in North Carthage, Missouri. Nick reports her disappearance to the police and the investigators find something quite unusual in this case. All the evidences point straight towards Nick and when the media learns about it, the protagonist goes through a lot of chaos. Gone Girl is about a husband, finding his loving wife. At least that’s what they want us to know for starters.
Gone Girl is based on the Global Bestseller (same name) by Gillian Flynn. And in a recent article I read, it says it is closely based on the novel. I usually like to watch a film and then read the novel contrary to the usual way of going about it. And I hope the novel is as good as the film.
When Amy finds out that Nick is cheating on her, she believes that Nick has to pay the ultimate price for it. Amy believes that Nick “murdered” the perfect wife Amy always was and he should get the death penalty for it. So she designs a treasure hunt for him and the police as an anniversary gift, giving clues for the cops to believe that Nick murdered his wife. Nick on the other hand, plans to separate from his wife. He wants her to be gone from his life. That’s Amy’s gift for him. She is gone. But not the way Nick expected her to go. No. That way Nick wins. Amy can’t let Nick win. That’s Gone Girl for you.
In Fincher’s hands, you can expect the things to go wild. You can easily presume some rude awakenings from time to time. And most importantly, he can lead you into believing something till the very end and then squash all of your expectations into pulp and reveal something strange. There is this thing about how David Fincher crafts his stories. I’ve seen most of his films which are considered as classics by many – Se7en, Fight Club, The Social Network to name a few. And now we have Gone Girl. There is something gloomy in all of these films, so meticulously put together that you simply cannot help but enjoy.
What makes the film so interesting? I feel it has something to do with the twisted characters it brings forward. Ben Affleck had a pretty straightforward role to play. But Rosamund Pike’s character shines in the film. She makes you fall in love with her and she scares you too! Just like Nick Dunne, you keep thinking what is on her mind, all the time.
Whenever I watch any film with a missing person who leaves nothing behind but a set of unanswered questions, raises a doubt – whether that person actually existed? Especially when I am watching a film made by the person behind Fight Club. But I feel the success of the film lies in the twisted character of Amy that reveals itself somewhere in the middle. And the story doesn’t really stick with Nick (the protagonist). Sometimes it revolves around Amy, sometimes around Nick telling the audience the story of a couple rather than two individuals. And it does it really well.
The word often used to describe this film is “shocking”. For me I think I always expected Amy to be alive and the mastermind behind all this action. What was truly shocking for me that even after going through all this frenzy, the couple decides to come together and live their life “normally” as if nothing is wrong. That is the fulcrum of the whole film. Whether Amy decides to go back to Nick, or no and whether Nick is ready to accept Amy after what she has put him through, or no. And they take a decision, they resume their lives together, knowing it wouldn’t really be the same but with a clear idea of what the other person wants.
Some critics consider the film to be misogynist. I have to agree that it is about a man and how he perceives a woman. But I have definitely seen films which are more “one-sided” than this one. In fact after watching this film, I appreciate the importance of a conversation in a relationship much more than ever before. And I believe that it takes two bad drivers for an accident.
The person who loves you the most, has the power to destroy you. Marriages are very brittle. And by marrying someone, you pass on that ultimate power to a stranger. In the film, both the strangers destroy one another but in different ways. Gone Girl is about a husband, finding the girl he loved. And he finds his wife. But the love part is still missing. The girl he loved is forever, gone.