Thursday Night Movie Club
Gone Girl
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Release Date: 3 October 2014

Director: David Fincher
Ben Affleck
Rosamund Pike
Neil Patrick Harris
Tyler Perry
Carrie Coon
Kim Dickens
Patrick Fugit
David Clennon
Lisa Banes
Missi Pyle
Emily Ratajkowski
Casey Wilson
Lola Kirke
Boyd Holbrook
Sela Ward
Nick Dunne
Amy Dunne
Desi Collings
Tanner Bolt
Margo Dunne
Detective Rhonda Boney
Officer James Gilpin
Rand Elliott
Marybeth Elliott
Ellen Abbott
Andie Fitzgerald
Noelle Hawthorne
Sharon Schieber
Gone Girl movie poster Gone Girl movie poster Gone Girl movie poster
Carrie Coon and Ben Affleck in Gone GirlDirector David Fincher scores another suspense-laden film that keeps the audience guessing what is really true long after Gone Girl ends. There are more twists and turns in this film than US Highway 1.

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) lives in the town where he grew up. He works as the manager of a local bar owned and operated by his sister Margo (Carrie Coon). He comes home one day to find a glass table broken and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing.

Nick calls the police. The usual preliminary investigation lead by Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) uncovers traces of blood left on what appears to be the clean kitchen floor. Nick wonders what kind of criminal cleans up after himself. "Congratulations Mr. Dunne. You are under arrest for the murder of your wife."

The first plot twists comes at the police station. Nick is asked the usual questions: What does your wife do all day? Who are her friends? What are her hobbies? What books does she read? Amazingly, Nick cannot answer any of these questions. How can Nick be married without knowing the slightest thing about his wife?

Gone Girl twists again with the discovery of Amy's diary. Fincher uses flashbacks intertwined with the current proceedings to tell Amy's story of their relationship.

Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck in Gone GirlThey met at a party in New York City. Nick and Amy were successful. They met, found they had some things in common, began dating, and eventually married. The economic downturn resulted in both of them losing their jobs. Being unable to survive in New York without jobs, Nick and Amy are forced to move back to Nick's home town until their careers are revived. As a writer, Nick can work from home. Amy's job skills do not afford her the same luxury.

Amy's diary paints a picture of a strained marriage that is getting worse and worse. She begins to fear Nick. What he might do. Amy is afraid Nick may actually try to kill her. This is very damaging evidence to Nick. He never knew his wife kept a diary.

Gone Girl takes another turn. As the days go by and the investigation continues, a mystery develops. Amy's body cannot be found. Nick cannot be charged with murder without a body.

Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne in Gone GirlNick uses this to full advantage. He hires famous Defence Attorney Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry). Nick's only defense is in the theater of public opinion. Bolt initiates up a Public Relations campaign whereby Nick pleads with help from the public to help locate his "missing" wife. Nick claims innocence by claiming Amy either left on her own or she was kidnapped.

Detective Boney and her partner Officer James Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) are in a quandary. The murder investigation also becomes a missing person case. A seemingly air-tight case against Nick doesn't appear so concrete.

There are a few mysterious elements to the case. First, Amy's body has not been recovered. Nick has an alibi. Nick was with his sister at the bar on the morning of Amy's disappearance. How could Nick have killed his wife and disposed of her body so efficiently in such a short period of time?

Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne in Gone GirlAlso making matters even more complicated for Nick are a series of cryptic clues left behind at the crime scene. Amy has left a series of notes behind for Nick to find. On the surface, the notes appear to be a simple guessing game between the couple. As Nick plays Amy's game, he finds even more damning evidence against him. He hides the clues from the detectives. Nick knows it is only a matter of time until the police find this evidence through their investigation.

What is going on?

This is only the first third of the film. Gone Girl has several more plot twists that turn the story upside down and on its side before spinning backwards. Explaining further would... well... Spoilers.

Director David Fincher has crafted another whodunit in the same vein as "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo". All of the questions are answered at the end of the film, except one. Fincher keeps the pace going at a frantic pace. Answers revealed only lead to more questions. Fincher also keeps the emoting of the two main actors to a minimum thus adding to the suspense.

Ben Affleck is very good portraying Nick. Nick is a normal man who has suffered a professional setback and is trying hard to put his life back on track. He wakes up on a day just like any other only to have his life turned upside down and inside out. Nick is suddenly out of his element. He is desperate to solve the mystery on his own before he spends the rest of his life in prison.

Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne in Gone GirlNick slowly realizes he does not know anything about his wife. The more he learns about her, the more he looks like a sap. How could all of this be happening without him having the slightest idea anything is amiss?

Rosamund Pike portrays Amy as a cold fish. Pike is excellent. Her happy marriage changes abruptly after she and Nick both lose their jobs. They have no choice but to move to Nick's home town. All of Amy's hopes of raising a child are dashed. She is angry and silently blames Nick. She wants out of her marriage. Amy is cold, calculating and patient.

Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne in Gone GirlFincher cleverly bookends the film with the exact same sequence. With Amy snuggled on his chest, Nick is wondering about his wife. What is she thinking right now. She looks up at him and smiles. This simple sequence has a vastly different interpretation at the end of the film.

Did Amy ever love Nick or was the marriage just a means to an end? The audience will never know. But the roller coaster ride is fantastic!