Profoundly cynical, devilishly ambiguous

“Gone Girl” a wild adventure

Winston Eng, Staff Reporter

Perhaps one of the more brilliant releases of this year, David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” is more than just a piece seeking to entertain its audience.

Often dependent on unexpected reveals and altered perspectives, the film seeks to thrill and confuse its viewers with its consistent shifting vantage points and visibly eerie tale.

To start, “Gone Girl” focuses on Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) who is under suspicion for the disappearance of his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), after an initial missing person’s case transfigures into a homicide investigation following some surfacing reveals.

While all seems to be going well for the couple, deeper analysis via Amy’s personal journal and physical clues leftover from Amy’s annual anniversary scavenger hunt for her husband Nick reveal flashbacks which hint at a more realistic and skewed view of their relationship.

Consistently, the film strings together a series of events where each could be its own separate story, and it does so with seamless finesse. Did they really have a perfect marriage? Who was really to fault for its slow decomposition? Should we trust Amy’s diary? What about Nick’s testimony to the two detectives leading the investigation?

Suffice to say, the movie answers all of these questions in due time and always quite clearly. By no means is this film meant to be subtle in its approach to solving the many inquiries it produces.

It is also worth noting that all performances are spot-on. Pike no doubt radiates in the spotlight through her crafty manipulation and undaunted composure. Notable mentions include Tyler Perry, whose performance is a nice breath of fresh air from his romantic comedies, and Kim Dickens, who undertakes a pinnacle role as a homicide detective and produces an exceptionally written and acted performance in this ensemble cast.

With immaculate wide shots, a desaturated color palette and a present, ominous score from composer Atticus Ross, “Gone Girl” is insanely confusing in how cleverly it manages to present itself, despite being filled with droll situations left and right. To consider the plot pure madness would be fair, especially if your cup of tea involves a sickly sadistic flavor. While every twist and turn is justifiable, some are just plain over-the-top, and retrospectively, they may not make as much sense as they did when compared to the initial live viewing.

In this sense, “Gone Girl” reminisces of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo,” compounding overwhelming madness into an awkwardly comical situation. Despite scenes sprouting seeds of disbelief consistently, you will be drawn to accepting these scenarios with somehow assumed plausibility.

Those familiar with Fincher’s other films especially “Se7en,” “Zodiac” and “The Social Network” will be entranced with “Gone Girl;” fans of Denis Villeneuve’s “Prisoners” or “Enemy” are encouraged to attach themselves to this film as well.

“Gone Girl”
Rating: ★★★½
Release Date: Oct. 3,2014