Friday, July 24, 2015

At the Movies: "Gone Girl"

At the Movies with Michael5000

Gone Girl
David Fincher, 2014.

imbd: 8.2 (imdb 250: #156 and dropping slowly)
Rotten Tomatoes: 86% Fresh

A book is not automatically better than its movie adaption. Gone Girl, the book, is a pretty-good thriller that takes a long time to get up to speed and has more detours than it really needs. Gone Girl, the movie, preserves the strengths of the story and tells it with a narrative economy that gives it a bit more grip. An opening montage sets the pace and the tone; nothing more than a dozen or so images of buildings in and around fictional North Carthage, Missouri, it tells us everything we need to know about the social setting in which the story is going to take place. The best character from the novel, a detective looking for the missing “gone girl” of the title, is given a lot of screen time in a strong supporting performance (Kim Dickens; I also liked Tyler Perry in a supporting role as a celebrity attorney). The film shares the book’s meandering conclusion, but as a faithful adaptation it was pretty much bound to.

Plot: A man discovers that his wife has gone missing! The evidence suggests some sort of foul play, but we know he didn’t do it. Hey wait, do we really know he didn’t do it? Maybe he did do it! Wait, maybe he did what? I’m pleasantly confused!

Prognosis: If you haven’t read the book, you will find this an entertaining psychological thriller with some surprising twists. If you have read the book, you’ll think it’s an entertaining and well-made adaptation. Viewers with weak stomachs, be advised that there is a single scene of almost comically graphic, and completely gratuitous, gore. Viewers with a weakness for verisimilitude, be advised that there is a scene in which a man refers casually to his fiancé’s “world-class vagina” to a group of strangers at a reception, and is greeted by fond chuckles instead of awkward, appalled silence.

Michael5000's imdb rating: 6. I originally give it a seven, but I’m finding that like many pretty-good but unremarkable movies, it has faded from my memory awfully quickly.

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