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Gone Girl
Genre Mystery
 
Review:

David Fincher is a heavyweight director with a proven track record, who has become synonymous with dark mystery crime thrillers after Seven, The Game, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and now Gone Girl. His latest film, an adaptation penned by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn herself, is a curiously entertaining dark pearl about a man who becomes the focus of an intense media circus after the disappearance of his wife.

The film co-stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, who share the screen as a married couple as Fincher dissects their dysfunctional relationship in the build up to her inexplicable disappearance. Affleck and Pike are accomplished actors who don't disappoint in this tightly-wound thriller that twists-and-turns its way into a commentary on the media circus.

Ben Affleck is quite perfectly cast as the numb husband, whose pleas of innocence are masked by an underlying sense of apathy. Rosamund Pike delivers a deviant, full range and equally ambivalent performance that adds another dimension to the complex and dysfunctional marriage.

We're compelled by the central mystery much like Twin Peaks in the way the genre bends to accommodate black comedy tones. Then, we're entertained by Fincher's dark, stylish sleight-of-camera as back stories parallel, back-track and intersect along the way.

Gone Girl is manic and wildly entertaining, but almost derails in the third act with its dangerous genre-bending. Fincher just manages to keep a lid on the tonal shifts, despite what seems like one or two unintentional laughs.

We're amused by the eccentricities of the storytelling as a send up of the media circus seems to whip the red carpet out from under a traditional whodunnit? It's an ambitious tightrope act, one that mostly succeeds, offering enough entertainment value and finesse to substitute the trashy incredulity of the story.

Casting Neil Patrick Harris (in a David Hyde Pierce type role), Tyler Perry and Missi Pyle suggest that Fincher was purposefully going for a slice of dark comedy. Unfortunately, the director seems to let the golden thread out too much, losing the tension, sabotaging the solid foundations and confusing us with a rather ludicrous third act.

Gone Girl's concept, style and strong co-lead performances are alluring, but for all its enchantment, it becomes just as trashy as the media circus and infotainment it's trying to skewer. For an elusive, almost two-and-a-half hour thriller that keeps you guessing, Gone Girl may hit a few bumps, but it's still worth your time.

The bottom line: Entertaining

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