Gone Girl (2014)
David Fincher's Gone Girl, an adaptation of the novel by Gillian Flynn, is a rich but flawed film. It's a callous, fussy and scrupulous tale of a seemingly happily married man who comes home to find his wife has disappeared under suspicious circumstances, and the subsequent investigation invites an influx of interpretations, logic and emotion from the many semi-realistic characters and the viewer alike. The film is playful and edgy, but Fincher doesn't play the audience like a piano as Hitchcock did, he plays it like a drum-set, pounding on us, sometimes rhythmically, sometimes cacophonically. And I'm not even sure how much he enjoys it all. What Fincher most certainly does enjoy, however, is the media satire which is scattered around the film. It's not much fun – more sickening – but nevertheless effective as the hordes of attention-grabbers and cynical journalists keep increasing the pain that we feel through our main protagonist Nick Dunne. The fact that Ben Affleck gives a level-headed, driving performance in this part is crucial, because it balances the story's and the title character's outrageousness, and keeps us interested, keeps us guessing, even caring. And although someone should have had the guts or authority to make Flynn keep her script tighter, you're never sure what's going to hit you in Gone Girl, except that it probably resembles one of Fincher's drumsticks, and that it will go on, and on, and on, until you're so numb that you no longer feel the small jabs of pain.