On the day of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne returns to his house to find an empty home. With what appears to be a crime scene, Nick reports that his beautiful wife, Amy, has gone missing. With unparralel scrutiny, Nick finds himself under constant pressure from not only the police but the media, who slowly begin to suspect that he may be the man responsible for his wife's disappearance. David Fincher's Gone Girl is a expertly crafted thriller, that slowly reveals itself as a portrait of a deeply fractured marriage. Gone Girl is a fascinating film that is bound to raise discussions among its viewers, with people's own biases and perceptions playing into how they will ultimately judge its characters. Gone Girl is a film where even the slightest details about its two main characters, Amy and Nick, are the difference in how the viewer will ultimately judge them. While Nick nor Amy would be characterised as "good people", Gone Girl creates an intimate portrait of both these characters, capturing how their past childhood and present marital problems have shaped the type of person they have become. Amy is a complete sociopath, but the film does a fantastic job of making her a somewhat sentimental character, showing her publicity-whore parents using her childhood as a way to sell books. She is a woman who gave up her life in New York for Nick, and while what she does is not even close to justified, Gone Girl paints a convincing portrait of how she became so mentally unstable. On the otherhand is Nick an archetype of a primal state of man - a cheating, weak individual who can't control his carnal desires. Fincher's Gone Girl is thematically rich, capturing not only the male and female psyches but more importantly in how it exposes the power of perception and image. Both Nick and Amy are slaves to how others percieve them, with Fincher using the media as a way of capturing how they are truly slaves to how they are perceived. While not nearly as forefront, the critique of capitalism and how one's success is derived by money is a subtle undercurrent running throughout the narrative, working in conjecture with the more pressing theme of perception. As serious and intense of an experience that Gone Girl can be at times, the film works mainly because Fincher never forgets the type of film is making. This is a sleazy, pulpy story and Fincher embraces it with open arms, having fun with its more "soap opera' type tiwsts and turns while delivering a truly engaging, timely, and powerful film that is a lot of fun.
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