Our Spring magazine is finally here! Click here to view and read our new articles!

Review: Gone Girl

© 20th Century Fox

I wonder how many people after Alien 3 thought that a few years down the line David Fincher would be directing some of the most iconic films of the nineties and noughties. Fight Club, Seven, Zodiac and The Social Network are all really fine films, Zodiac arguably a masterpiece. S0 has the master of thriller done it again? Simple answer, yes. 

We have all seen the trailers and to say more about the plot would spoil the film. What is hidden from us is vital and I applaud the marketing team behind the trailers for not giving anything away. It is nice to finally have a Hollywood film not desperate to hook its audience by showing them the film before they see it.

The film is perhaps Fincher’s most thoughtful work to date, although the people calling this film a great feminist piece perhaps have forgotten that in major parts this film is very misogynistic. For example Ben Affleck’s character’s flaws are almost forgiven and women are either dim housewives, obsessive lovers or psychos. However the famous “cool girl” speech is extremely powerful and it’s these contradictory ideas that keep Gone Girl’s audience on its toes. There is plenty to think about, even if it outrages you.

Gone Girl is at its best when it is at its trashiest. The tongue-in-cheek one-liners and occasional laugh out loud humour keep our attention fully engaged throughout its epic running length. We stay onboard for these moments and to watch the performances unravel, and boy do they unravel. Affleck is perfect in the role: he’s the handsome jock with a brain caught in two minds about the kind of man he wants to be. Does he want to be different and cliche free, or does he want to live the life that – as a man – society allows him to lead. Affleck for me embodies this anyway and this performance is his best to date. Then there is Rosamund Pike, who quite simply is brilliant. It seems an odd thing to praise, but her accent is stunningly convincing and adds to her otherworldly performance.

It isn’t a perfect film, like I’d argue Zodiac, Seven and The Social Network are, but it feels like a classic. It’s directed and acted with gusto, is often exasperating and deeply shocking, but it’s also flawed and has a sagging middle act. It might have some people questioning its message but no one could say it isn’t blisteringly entertaining.