A scene towards the end of David Fincher’s latest offering, ‘Gone Girl’ sums up modern marriage, where Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) laments, “We resent each other, control each other, cause each other pain,” to which his wife Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike), in a matter-of-factly tone, responds, “That’s marriage!”
This particular scene sums up this gem of a film or perhaps a social comment on marriages of our times, which ends with: “What have we done to each other?” – An unanswered question that is sure to linger on your mind hours after you’ve left the auditorium.
David Fincher narrates the story of a rather ‘unusual’ couple (Surely not akin to Mr. & Mrs. Smith) where the husband, Nick is aloof while the wife, Amy is way too smart and equally dangerous. One day, Nick finds Amy missing and the evidences prove him to be the culprit. What ensues isn’t your usual cat-and-mouse chase, but a screenplay that arrests your senses and challenges your intellect, while taking indulgent potshots at the media circus.
The last time one experienced such “Hell, why didn’t I see that coming?” moment in a film was Christopher Nolan’s ‘Memento’ (Did anybody say Ghajini?) and among Hindi films, it was surely Sujoy Ghosh’s masterpiece, Kahaani. Comparisons aside, ‘Gone Girl’ is beyond whodunit genre and takes the mantle of Michel Gondry’s ‘Eternal sunshine on a spotless mind’ and Derek Cianfrance’s ‘Blue Valentine’, and Sam Mendes’ ‘Revolutionary Road’ to the next level.
Actors Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are a perfect pitch for this film based on Gillian Flynn’s bestseller, ‘Gone Girl’. Neil Patrick Harris, the actor who played plays the ‘funnily nice guy hopelessly in love’, often reminding you of his character Barney Stinson in the TV Series, ‘How I met your mother’, especially that inimitable smile. The other surprise is surely Tyler Perry, who plays Nick’s attorney, Tanner Bolt, aptly nicknamed as: The patron saint of wife-killers.
Cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth deserves a special mention, especially for those landscape shots and a visual tone that complements the film’s key moments. Be it the scene where Nick pushes a glass towards his twin sister Margo Dunne (Carrie Coon) or where Nick and detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) walk inside a dark room in search of a ‘clue’, each scene leaves a touch of reality, making the audience become part of this thrilling investigation.
At the risk of hinting a spoiler, I just couldn’t help sharing this incident of Van Den Born, a graphic designer from Amsterdam, who used her Photoshop skills to lie to her friends and family about being overseas. Whereas the fact remains that she never left her home town and spent entire five weeks manipulating photographs and posting fake Facebook statuses.
Admittedly, I am on a diet of Nassem Nicholas Taleb’s book, ‘The Bed of Procrustes’, and would sum up with his quote: “Literature (read film here) is not about promoting qualities, rather, airbrushing (your) defects”. Watch ‘Gone Girl’ and you’ll get the drift.