Gone Girl (Movie 2014)

4 Kernels, Almost 5

Stars:  Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne and Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne

After a stressful day of work, I decided to go to the show and see Gone Girl. The reviews after release were strong, and I was intrigued.  I will be frank that Ben Afflfeck has never been one of my favorite actors.  Nevertheless, I relented and found myself sucked into an intriguing plot about a story I knew nothing about.  In a way, I like being surprised having not read the book before seeing the movie.  I think had I known the outcome it wouldn’t have been as interesting.

Unfortunately, I can tell you NOTHING in this review beyond the superficial gist of the movie. It would be a crying shame to spoil it for you, so I won’t.

The story starts out on the truthful fact that marriage is hard work.  Marriages can fail.  People can drift apart. However, it’s how the husband and wife of a marital union handle the challenges that determine the outcome of sticking together or getting a divorce.

We’ve all been privy to true-life instances in the media where a man has killed his wife. The plot is like watching the 6 o’clock news of the latest missing spouse.  Nick Dunne returns home one day to find his cat wandering outside and his front door open.  When he enters the house, he finds a scene reminiscent of a struggle and his wife has disappeared.

Of course, when the police get involved, Nick is the first person they attempt to eliminate in this strange disappearance of Amy Dunne.  Nick is far too nonchalant about her disappearance, which sheds suspicion upon him.  Everyone thinks he murdered his wife.  As the story progresses, more evidence mounts against him making him look quite guilty of bludgeoning her to death. Nick, on the other hand, is playing a game of anniversary clue with his missing wife and decides that she is staging an elaborate prank.

Needless to say, the movie’s first half is riddled with the question of whether he did or did not kill Amy. You are left with the evidence to sort out on your own until suddenly the story takes an 180 degree turn in the opposite direction.  I will confess that I had this sneaking suspicion it was going to play out this way.  Even though I was correct in my assumption, it certainly did not prepare me to see the outcome that leaves you speechless, questioning, unresolved, and unsatisfied.  It’s quite a void after the credits roll, which haunts you on the way out to the parking lot.

Even though Ben isn’t my favorite actor, I will say his performance in this movie is well played.  He was the neglectful husband at one point, worried spouse at another, and mortified male toward the end.  As far as Rosamund Pike’s performance, she was so disquieting I hope I never meet her face-to-face. Outstanding performance that will define her for years to come.

Somewhere in this story lurks a narcissistic psychopath that will make your skin crawl. The film doesn’t have any fright factor, except for one horribly disturbing scene that will make you gasp as it plays out.  However, like any excellent thriller it does a good job of leaving you inwardly distraught as a result. In conclusion, it’s worth a movie ticket, a medium popcorn, and two and half hours of sitting in a dark theater.  Though I read there was a scene of frontal nudity of Ben Affleck’s prize possessions, I’m here to report I never saw anything.  I mean that too!  I’m not sure if they cut it out of the film or if my eyes just glazed over. Maybe I can get a partial refund since I didn’t get my money’s worth.

Interesting point, however, before the movie we were treated to two trailers.  One was for Exodus, which looked absolutely stunning with special effects.  The other was for 50 Shades of Grey.  When that hit the big screen, it became extremely quiet during the trailer and it was dead quiet afterwards.  You could have heard a pin drop.  I’m not sure if that was because the majority of the audience was nervous about the content, shocked over the trailer, or out of breath with anticipation.  Whatever the reason, I found the moment a bit amusing and enlightening about the audience’s reaction.


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