Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) is a middle-aged writer who lives in the heart of Carthage, Texas, alongside his beautiful wife Amy (Rosemund Pike), who is a magazine writer. All is well in the Dunne household until one day on the morning of their fifth anniversary, Nick returns home from his morning errands to find that Amy is nowhere to be found. With smashed objects lying around the living-room, Nick discerns that his wife may be missing. Upon notifying the police and his family, the media swarm upon Nick like a pack of wolves, aggravating him at every turn. Soon through Nick’s albeit strange behavior, the public perception of Nick’s intentions begin to change, with many people asking the same horrifying question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?
You think you know the story? Think again. Sticking close to the source material, Flynn has allowed for Affleck’s best performance in quite some time. Portraying a potential murderer has allowed him to expand his acting talents, with some added humor and bite. This put his previously disappointing performances behind and added a win to his shelf of his recent successes. Without Affleck’s participation, I don’t see the film working with another actor in his role, and it’s the same case in relation to Pike. Ever since she was seen in Die Another Day, she has continued to excel in all of her films. Here she plays with the audience’s mind, allowing us to encourage her character at one moment, and hate her the next. It’s a strange quality, but her performance is a quiet, yet absorbing one which eventually reveals just how talented she really is. A career best performance for her, I have no doubt. Apart from the two leads, the film also benefits from a constantly intriguing cast, full of actors who show a side of themselves that didn’t deem possible. There are two actors in particular: Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick-Harris. Yes, Tyler Perry has finally delivered a solid supporting performance which doesn’t involve him dressing up in a ridiculous stereo-typical costume and requires him to actually act. And that he does. Every detail is understated, but he is surprising. NPH delivers a peculiar performance that’s both creepy and comforting. Not to his fault though, my mind saw Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, but nonetheless he gives a great performance.
As always, Fincher is a master behind the camera. His ability to get the very best performances out of his actors is phenomenal, and he does it again here in a thriller that seems as if it was written especially for his mind. Perhaps it was, and along with his camera angles and general skill in the art, he produces a sleek looking film that mirrors his vision of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Fincher’s latest film is an unflinching rendition of marriage in its true form. Darkly comic and boasting some of the finest and most unanticipated performances for many years, Gone Girl is a thriller destined for ‘vintage’ status.