SOME TWISTY FUN WITH SUB­STANCE

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Film -

MANY films en­joy ex­plor­ing the murk­i­ness be­low the at­trac­tive sur­face – the Amer­i­can Beauty poster tagline urged us to “look closer”, sug­gest­ing that noth­ing is ever what it ap­pears.

While that par­tic­u­lar film ex­am­ined a small se­lec­tion of dam­aged char­ac­ters, Gone Girl sug­gests it is ac­tu­ally all of us who are not al­ways gen­uine in our ap­pear­ance.

Framed with a mys­tery and mar­riage drama nar­ra­tive, Gone Girl, based on the novel by Gil­lian Flynn (who adapted her own work here), takes a mi­cro­scope to more than just a hand­ful of sub­jects.

Sub­ur­ban hus­band Nick (Ben Af­fleck) re­turns home on his fifth wed­ding an­niver­sary to find his trophy wife Amy (Rosamund Pike, de­liv­er­ing an as­tound­ing per­for­mance) miss­ing with signs of an at­tack.

All signs point to Nick’s guilt, with De­tec­tive Rhonda Boney (Kim Dick­ens) and Of­fi­cer Jim Gilpin (Pa­trick Fugit) un­cov­er­ing very lit­tle to sug­gest oth­er­wise.

With all cam­eras from ev­ery me­dia out­let on him and his ac­tions, Nick in­sists on his in­no­cence but his be­hav­iour does not al­ways back it up.

It is not un­til the de­tec­tives find the hid­den re­mains of Amy’s burnt di­ary that the real na­ture of the cou­ple’s picket fence re­la­tion­ship comes to light. Or does it?

Di­rec­tor David Fincher rev­els in cyn­i­cism and the dark­ness of hu­man na­ture and this story suits him.

This is one of his most the­mat­i­cally rich pieces: a com­ment on the thirsty me­dia, trial by trashy talk show

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