Gone Girl

Gone Girl ★★★★★

I wish I could say I was being a little melodramatic when I said I watch Gone Girl every time I think about my ex. Maybe I don't watch it every time I think about her (now them), but it's certainly the first thing that comes to mind whenever I'm reminded of them. It's not a matter of sexism, it's a matter of personally traumatizing experiences. My relationship history may seem like something that comes straight out of a twisted psychological romantic thriller, but believe you me, everything I'm about to tell you is completely accurate.

My first love, let's call her Kate, was and still is the most beautiful person I have ever met. Her eyes lit up like shining stars, her hair beautiful beyond words or comparison. She had some similar interests to me, and we always greatly loved each other's company. She would literally go see any movie with me, she didn't care what it was. We were madly in love, we even started planning our future together while we were in high school. We were perhaps moving a bit too fast, but she was adamant that we were to remain together for our entire lives. I was legitimately scared that something would happen between us, and I didn't want to see her so devastated in the worst case scenario, so I always would try to cool down the constant fantasies of a cinematic romance that we always imagined. She always went berserk whenever I tried to calm her down, shuddering at the very thought of us breaking up, a moment I never really wanted to happen.

Later on, as our relationship progressed, the constant late night calls started coming in. She would call me up in fluster of frustration, going on the verge of mental breakdown. She even told me once that she had depression, something that (at the time) I had been convinced was all a trick played by the mind. I wish I would have been a little more compassionate towards her outbursts of depression, but I have to remember, I was only in high school. If this girl was getting this serious and messed up inside this early in life, imagine how magnified that could be later in life. The longer I stayed with her, the more emotionally draining I found it to be. Nights began to blur together for me as I would stay up late with either worry or deep in increasingly frustrating conversation. I understood that she just needed someone to lean on, but I was going through a ton of personal problems of my own at the time, and I wasn't stable enough to be the best support. So, not long after graduating high school, I broke up with her. It was the most difficult conversation I have ever had, but I thought it would be for the best. Of course, my mind had me on other ideas.

A few months down the road, we got back together again. She seemed to be doing a lot better, and I thought for sure that this would last forever. It was high school all over again, even if her best friend viewed me as an obstacle between their friendship. This went on for a little less than a year, until I finally was shattered inside by one fateful conversation. Three years ago today, my ex looked at me and laughed in my face when I told her I thought we were still together. It wasn't just a simple, "No, you must have misheard me." It was a sarcastic and deeply cutting laugh, followed by a long, fast string of "No's", indicating that she never wanted to even think of the possibility of us being back together again. She claims she had told me months ago that we were breaking up, but I think I would have remembered that, whether over text, phone, or FaceTime. You don't just forget someone telling you they never want to see you again. Something as alarming as that doesn't just pass over your head in a text or passing conversation. I'm pretty sure I would've remembered her saying that to me, no matter what the method was. I was thrown into despair, finding it increasingly difficult to approach anyone else to even ask for a simple social interaction. It's true what people have said about my ex- she is the most beautiful person I will ever meet. How can I try to compare someone to the one I already thought was the epitome of perfection? I know it probably sounds like an incredibly juvenile thing to still be hung up on a three year old breakup, but it seriously messed me up inside.

But, even worse, Gone Girl means so much more to me now after another even more alarming experience that quite literally could have destroyed my entire life. After almost two years of feeling alone, left out in the cold, with no one for me to care for, another girl entered my life. This girl was one of the sweetest, most innocent girls you could ever have met. A preacher's daughter. How could you go wrong with a preacher's kid? She first approached me, expressing that she was in love with me (it should also be noted that both of my relationships were started by the other person), and I got that warm feeling inside that had been emptied from me during my last encounter. For the first time in a great long while, I felt loved by another person outside of my family. This could be something really wonderful. But, if the film this is a review of would be any indication, it was far from wonderful.

I'm sure almost everyone here knows what love is like. I don't mean the whole idea of kissing and marriage and having kids and whatnot. I mean the very idea of love being conveyed by someone else to you. To have someone make you feel like you're their whole world. To have someone bring you feelings that you haven't had since you were brutally betrayed by someone you trusted. To have someone else make you feel like you both really want to spend the rest of your lives together. And then have that person turn around almost as quickly as they came to you and play the victim. Try to make you look like a creep and demonize you. Try to make you look like someone who forces others into doing what you want them to do against their will. To be accused of something so horrifying as rape or sexual assault. And then, when it's all said and done, to be met with scepticism about your own innocence. To feel like there's still some shred of doubt among those you used to be so close to that you really didn't do something as horrifying as you were blamed of doing.

Gone Girl isn't just some crazy, twisted story filled with suspense and plot turns that plays with its audience's point of view and emotions. It's a legitimate examination of how innocence can be stripped away from someone when they seem the least bit culpable. How a towering reputation can come crashing down at the tiniest mistake. Gone Girl doesn't make those mistakes valid or even sympathetic, but the outcome of a change in perception is what really drives the audience's emotions towards the film and its events. It doesn't make either of its subject characters innocent or even likeable, which is what really helps keep the suspense at boiling temperature. Reznor and Ross's sizzling score is top notch as always with a Fincher film, delivering a powerhouse of background noise with deep synthesizer roots that give it a dark, tonal atmosphere. Gillian Flynn's screenplay is nothing short of perfection- a masterful concoction of intriguing twists that never really lets the audience stay clued in as to where it's going. David Fincher is undoubtedly still one of my absolute favorite directors working today- he's one of the few directors whose films I anxiously look forward to every time. Watching this again makes me excited for The Girl on the Train, a film that looks to be somewhat similar in style to Fincher films like this. This is honestly probably my favorite of his films; although I've never read the book, he made the story so vivid and real on the screen for me. But Gone Girl isn't just a mystery. No, no. It's a horror film. A horror film about the notions of stereotyping and perceptions. People can be so quick to lay the blame on the most obvious answer, without even bothering to look for signs, clues, or even the story on the other side. This is a startlingly real film, and one that conveys a message that is so easy to ignore, which makes it all the more terrifying.

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