Film Review: Gone Girl
3rd October 2014
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★★★★★ Occasionally you get a novel that is like a flame to a can of petrol. Suddenly your friendship group, your Facebook newsfeed and the ever-tweeting twitersphere are full of people sharing opinions on the book. Everyone is talking about it. Everyone seems to have read it or is planning to read it. This is what happened with Gone Girl when it exploded onto the literary scene in 2012 (it went big in the UK in 2013). In response, Twentieth Century Fox and executive producer Reese Witherspoon have busied away and offered up a film version amazingly quickly. And was it worth the (relatively short) wait? Yes. It definitely was. Although there is a lot about it I enjoyed and admire, I thought Gillian Flynn's novel was a flawed gem. I loved the twists and turns but found the ending disappointing, as if the story was heading towards an epic conclusion only to finish on more of an awkward cough than a screeching finale. David Fincher, whose films range from the brutal and strong (Seven) to the weak (Panic Room) to the mawkish and pretentious (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) manages the script (written by Flynn) superbly. Since The Social Network, Fincher seems to have settled on a trademark style involving low-level lighting, static camera work, beautiful cinematography using a RED digital camera and an electronic score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross murmuring around in the background. He employs all those things here, largely to considerable effect, though I feel an instrumental score would be added more than Reznor and Ross’s efforts – although they have their talents, a lot of their work here sounds like a jumble of sound effects sourced from MacBook pro notifications.
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