Based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, David Fincher's movie adaption stars Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne whose wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has disappeared in an apparent struggle. Eventually Nick becomes the main suspect of the investigation and media make him their target of their vulture like behaviour as they circle around their prey hoping to stumble across a mistake from Nick that will compound his guilt. So as Nick is public enemy number one having a young student (Emily Ratajkowski) as a bit on the side isn't going to help in the slightest.
Gone Girl is the second time in a row that Fincher directs an adaptation of a recent bestselling novel as his previous film before Gone Girl was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fincher is obviously becoming to go to guy for big movie adaptations of big novels. Gillian Flynn's novel was heralded an unfilmable because of the narrative style chosen by Flynn is told in diary entry form. What the novel does exceptionally well is examine the destruction of a marriage from two alternative points of view so the reader is swinging between characters by placing the blame on the husband or wife. David Fincher's adaptation is not quite as good at exploring or examining this theme but does make a decent fist of it. The slow destruction of the marriage isn't as fully developed and realised as it is in the novel.
What David Fincher does get absolutely spot on is the casting of Rosamund Pike as Amazing Amy. Not only does Pike make for a perfect physical representation of Amy Elliot Dunne but she also gives a superb performance that captures the so called Amazing Amy snide, lying and manipulative personality. In a powerhouse performance Pike is able to switch from weak and vulnerable to cold, callous and calculating. Pike is head and shoulders above every other cast member, including the lead Ben Affleck, who is perfectly fine, but is acted off the screen by Pike.
Collaborating once again with former co-workers including cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth (whose work here is glorious once again) and Trent Razor whose subtle score adds a great deal of darkness to the nihilistic feelings that radiate strongly from the film. Gone Girl is a film where the major characters are all heavily flawed and deeply unlikable but the relationships they share with one another are quite strong and well developed, particularly Nick's relationship with his sister, Margo (Carrie Coon). Fincher does a remarkable job, the pace of the two and a half hour runtime is perfect, and each frame has superb composition.
Gone Girl is a dark, twisted film full of damaged and deranged characters, but you can find more deprevity in the media and the film directs much of its ire at the vulture like media who circle around vulnerable people waiting to uncover a dead body as they treat a disappearance of person as though it was a reality TV show. Gone Girl is another major success for Fincher as the film is spectacularly well made, but it is Rosamund Pike's powerhouse performance that makes the film so gripping.