By Caleb Gierke
David Fincher’s Gone Girl (2014) keeps you on the edge of your seat, while also making your morality come into question. Just about every character in Gone Girl is a very flawed person. Every human is flawed, but Gone Girl’s cast is messy people making their lives even messier.
David Fincher is known for his crime thrillers like Se7en and Zodiac, which keep the audience thoroughly engrossed while our leads unravel the crime. Fincher can add another entry into that list with Gone Girl as it weaves an incredibly complicated web surrounding the disappearance of Nick Dunne’s wife Amy.
We see this investigation through the lens of Nick Dunne played by Ben Affleck. Affleck gives a fantastic performance as Nick, thoroughly capturing all the complexities of his life. Unlike Se7en and Zodiac where we follow a more morally neutral or good person, Nick is hardly innocent in the proceedings. As the investigation rolls on, suspicion begins to arise on Nick being responsible for the kidnapping. Fincher does a masterful job at making it hard to root for anyone involved in the investigation.
Detective Rhonda Boney played by Kim Dickens is probably the closest thing Gone Girl has to a normal person. She acts as our audience surrogate as the investigation gets more and more convoluted. Convoluted here is meant as a glowing positive because as things get messier, they also get a lot more engaging.
Acting aside, Gone Girl is shot wonderfully to accentuate the tension of the film. As things are revealed, they are revealed to us with as much weight as the characters are experiencing. The lighting and staging show us the true colors of the characters. This is nothing surprising coming from Fincher, but it is always nice to watch something so well shot.
It’s hard to talk about Gone Girl without spoiling it, but it is one of the most engrossing crime thrillers I’ve seen in a while. Fincher knows how to direct one and choosing to adapt Gone Girl was an excellent decision. I would highly recommend checking out Gone Girl if you are wanting that or just a very well directed film.
Gone Girl is streaming on Hulu. For Fincher’s other works, Se7en is streaming on HBO Max and Zodiac is streaming on Amazon Prime. For another Fincher work in an entirely different genre, Mank is streaming on Netflix.