Gone Girl

Gone Girl ★★★★

In a career spanning just over a couple of decades, David Fincher has garnered a strong reputation as one of the finest auteurs working in the film industry today and certainly the best one around when it comes to thrillers. One can always expect Fincher to come up with a film that's at the forefront of quality, be it the narrative, performances, visual & sound design or entertainment value. And so far, this master storyteller is yet to disappoint.

And his success streak continues with Gone Girl, for his latest is a fascinating exploration of the dynamics of marriage, a ruthless exposition of media sensationalism, and a biting examination of our morbid curiosity & attraction to scenes of tragedy. The story concerns a guy whose life is turned upside down when his wife's sudden disappearance becomes the focus of an intense media circus which turns on him when he is suspected of her possible murder.

Directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl is a thrilling piece of work from start to finish, for the plot is structured in a manner that keeps the audience guessing. Technical aspects leave nothing to complain about and even the twists n turns occur at just the right moments which makes the experience all the more enriching. Also, as pure an exercise it is in suspense, this story is tailor-made for Fincher's talents and he does an excellent job with the material provided, yet again.

The screenplay is penned down by Gillian Flynn herself, the author of the book, and it's quite an impressive work from the first time screenwriter. Cinematography has always remained perfectly in tone with the story in every Fincher film and Gone Girl is no exception. Thanks to tight editing, its 150 mins runtime is never felt, and the score by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross wonderfully captures the essence of the story being told and seamlessly integrates with the unfolding events.

Coming to the performances, leading from the front are Ben Affleck & Rosamund Pike in their given roles, especially Pike who steals every scene she's in, commands the screen with sublime finesse, exhibits complete control over her character, and her chemistry with Affleck simply works. Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coon & Kim Dickens deliver strong performances too but my favourite from the supporting cast is Tyler Perry who plays his character with remarkable confidence.

The film is a thought-provoking look at the hardships of matrimony, shows that it takes more than love to make a marriage work, and that the fall in economy can play as devastating a role as lies, dishonesty & infidelity in triggering the downfall of long-term relationships. But where its hammer falls hardest is in the unforgiving representation of the devious nature of media. And in the process, it also ends up making a statement about our very own obsession with such materials.

On an overall scale, Gone Girl is an incredibly smart, thoroughly sophisticated & immensely satisfying thriller from David Fincher which expertly balances his artistic ambitions with entertainment obligations, thus offering a cinematic gem that delivers on all fronts. Ingeniously directed, deftly written, beautifully photographed, smoothly edited & effectively scored, Fincher's latest is undeniably amongst the best all-round films of the year and comes strongly recommended.

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