Dial M for marriage gone haywire

Dial M for marriage gone haywire

Gone Girl

English (A) ***

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris

This one will make you do all of this: dread, cringe, hate, groan, smile (although wryly) and think. David Fincher does it again with Gone Girl.

He makes you anticipate something different and he delivers. Of course, whether you will lap up this diabolical plot simply because of the Fincher label or be neutral towards it for the sincere movie-making efforts, depends solely on your temperament.

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), wakes up one morning and finds that his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) is gone. Just gone. He doesn’t know if she has been kidnapped or murdered or has run away. Then follows a chasing-Amy, finding-Amy saga, punctuated with police drama, media frenzy, spousal bashing and some serious speculations that will destroy people’s lives. 

There is a two-fold narration throughout, which at first, confusing and meandering, converges through the course to make sense. There are those frustrating times when you oscillate between feeling pity for Nick, loathing for Amy and disgust for him, empathy for her.

However, that changes with his extramarital affair coming to light. That transforms again when she uses ex-boyfriend Desi (Neil Patrick Harris) to her own ends. And towards the end, you are so mired in this hategame of husband and wife, you just feel relieved that it is all over.

Also, if you haven't read the book, you are probably wondering what would have happened if Amy hadn't been robbed. Would she still have gone back to Nick or would she have followed one of her ‘Kill self’ post-its?

There is too much of a ‘been here, seen this’ feeling for the viewer. The rich girl is bad and uptight; she marries a hick and does not realise it until five years into their marriage. City boy comes back home to an ailing mother with his wife, after they lose their jobs due to the economic recession. The ennui of a small town makes him indulge in an affair (we can only presume) and use his wife as a tool to vent his insecurities and frustration. Dark, grim, hopeless and afraid of marriage. That’s what this is intended to make you feel.

Gone Girl brazenly explores the unfathomable depths of the human mind, the sourness of a relationship and the sweetness of revenge. But it is extremely sad that Amy is ‘forged’ as a vicious, twisted, unforgiving shrew. If only Fincher had given Pike her due by letting her character develop more humanely in this skewed bloody battle, Affleck would not have come off as the lovable underdog, in spite of his flaws.

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