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Title: Gone Girl
Screenwriter: Gillian Flynn
Director: David Fincher
Distribution Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: October 3, 2014
Running Time: 149 minutes
Synopsis: In Carthage, Missouri, former New York-based writer Nick Dunne and his glamorous wife Amy present a portrait of a blissful marriage to the public. However, when Amy goes missing on the couple’s fifth wedding anniversary, Nick becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance. The resulting police pressure and media frenzy cause the Dunnes’ image of a happy union to crumble, leading to tantalizing questions about who Nick and Amy truly are.
First Person Please
The beauty of reading Gone Girl was that we only knew the story through the eyes of either Nick or Amy. In the case of this tale, first person narration is ESSENTIAL! How can you have a Mars versus Venus war without it?! Yeah, it’s probably difficult to accomplish without constant voice-over narration from Nick and Amy, but being able to see everything happening in the story simultaneously made the storyline seemed rushed. And the movie doesn’t incorporate enough of Nick’s side from the He Said She Said” conflict between Diary Amy and Book Nick that makes us doubt that Nick was responsible for Amy’s disappearance. I mean they didn’t even show how Nick’s conflicted feelings for his wife as he completed the treasure hunt! And don’t even get me started on how the movie messed up that treasure hunt!!!! This is supposed to be a thriller, right?! Then I want to see the investigation through the eyes of Nick and Amy Dunne. I only want to know what they know…or are willing to tell us. This is totally absent in the movie.
Ben Affleck = Bad Actor
UGH!!! Even during the re-read, I never see Ben Affleck as Nick. Even when Nick describes himself as “having a face you want to punch and being a working-class Irish kid trapped in the body of a trust-fund douchebag”, I still didn’t envision Ben Affleck…even though he totally has one of those douchey punchable faces in my humble opinion (no shade…okay, maybe a little shade).
Ben Affleck just did not capture the essence of Nick Dunne both emotionally and physically. Hey Movie Nick, why are you bulked up so much that it looks like you perpetually miss leg day and mix protein powder with your bourbon? We can obviously see Ben started training for the role of a lifetime as the new Bruce Wayne because his arms are so big that the space between his torso and arms look like the McDonald’s arches. Okay, okay…this is just me being petty because the main issue is the acting that lacks all subtlety.
Book Nick is a cheat and a liar, but does not come off as the rage monster and potential killer painted by Diary Amy. You believe him when he starts to fall back in love with Amy as he completes the anniversary treasure hunt. You hope Book Nick is innocent because he seems like a guy who may have just married the wrong person for him. You feel slightly vindicated when you learn he actually didn’t kill Amy. You know the punishment being doled by Amy does not quite fit the crime. You actually start to root for Nick to be free…Amy is the monster and actually a killer.
Movie Nick is just an a-hole from the start. Good Guy? Not even close. He is the guy inconvenienced by his wife’s disappearance. All he wants is a divorce and some good lovin’ from his PYT…so one dimensional. Could it be the direction? Maybe? But I would rather blame Ben Affleck’s mediocre acting. Even knowing Movie Nick is innocent doesn’t change the feeling…once a douchebag, always a douchebag. In the end I didn’t feel sorry for Movie Nick.
You know what’s better than reading a sadistic saga of He Said, She Said? Spending approximately 2.5 hours of your life watching that saga unfold before your eyes. While the movie is decent as a stand alone cinematic effort, I didn’t enjoy it as much this time as I did when I saw it in theaters. Also, I don’t think it captured the major aspects that made the novel so engaging.
The Final Grade
Kettle Korn: The stand alone movie was decent, but it did not capture the total spirit of the book.
So…are you Team Amy or Team Nick? What did you think of Ben Affleck’s acting? Did the movie make you less trusting of your spouse? Let us know in the comments! |RL
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m Katisha, the wizard behind Reel Literature. As a longtime book nerd, I hate to see an amazing book spoiled by a lackluster movie. Join me as I read the books that have definitely been watered down and most likely ruined by Hollywood. With a lot of humor and a little snark, I share my thoughts on all things books and the movies they inspire. Find me in these internet streets on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.