Gone Girl

Disclaimer: I really didn't like the book by Gillian Flynn. I could understand why people liked it - especially the concept - but I didn't like how the book/story was presented. 

Gone Girl is a typical David Fincher movie, i.e. smart (if you have never read the book), stylised and strangely sexy, but at the same time it is also a typical David Fincher movie, i.e. the style palette, directing and soundscape. Nonetheless, Fincher's hands definitely improved the telling of Flynn's story. 

Without ruining the plot, the story unfold closely to the book in terms of structure and was presented smartly and smoothly by Fincher.

For those who do not know the book, the movie was well paced, gripping and tense throughout its 2.5 hours run. 

Even those who knew the plot, the movie was still stylised enough to hold your attention. But then the faults become more apparent and jarring especially the music by Fincher's frequent collaborators Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and the rather strange - in my opinion - miscasting. 

Firstly, Rosamund Pike was surprisingly well cast. Yet at the same time also could have been cast better. Pike got the role down pat in the Third Act but was rather unconvincing in the first two, particularly the second. I see Naomi Watts or even Claire Danes in the role. 

Then we have Ben Affleck. He's too muscled up in this role - prepping for his role as Batman, perhaps? That's not how an impoverished writer "should" look. Neck up on the other hand, he has the all American good-guy look which is what the character ought to be. However, his acting here is unlikely to bring him much actual accolades come award season. 

Kim Dickens as Boney was great but I kept picturing Julianne Moore. Did the budget ran out or they feared Affleck will get out-classed? Neil Patrick Harris as the rich, over-entitled ex was too stiff and lacked any depth which made his character un-sympathetic at all. Carrie Coon as Margot was the only one that was well cast. 

Cinematography - by another frequent collaborator, Jeff Cronenweth - as usual was similar to all Fincher's other recent works: gorgeous and filled with door knobs and close ups. Music, as aforementioned, was distracting: more mood-accompaniment rather than mood/story setting.


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