I mean honestly, how am I supposed to review this without spoilers?
When writing my last post, What are you like, Rosamund Pike? (about actors whose public perception changes based on the roles they choose), I wondered how I was going to write this review… Yet, here it is! Beware of spoilers!
I was so shocked by Rosamund Pike’s performance – she was fantastic of course – but I wasn’t prepared for her to pick this role.
Let’s be clear, this isn’t the mystery/detective/Midsomer Murders deal I was expecting. This is a story of a manic, psychopathic Panther disguised as a house cat.
Here is the synopsis for those who don’t know:
SHORT SYNOPSIS: (believe it or not, I’ve left out a lot)
Pike’s character is the wife to Nick (Ben Affleck), but she goes missing – a seemingly brutal murder.
After half the film is spent on Affleck appearing guilty, and being scrutinised by the media, we eventually find out he didn’t do it. Amy is still alive and faked her disappearance… Because she’s a mental psycho killer… Drunk on revenge.
It gets dark very quickly by this point. We go through months of how she set up her own disappearance in order to frame her husband for murder.
She wrote a diary detailing abuse (that never happened), befriending the local pregnant idiot to confide the abuse to (which never happened), and to steal her urine for a positive pregnancy test to make it appear – after the ‘murder’ – that she was pregnant (which she wasn’t).
In the end, after an extremely brutal and shockingly dark adventure that Amy went on during her disappearance (I don’t want to go into the too much detail – I’m still scarred), she returns!
She then manipulates Affleck into staying with her… Not sure how or why… But in the end, he decides to stay with his psycho killer wife, I think for the sake of their image in the media. WHATTA NUTTER.
The ending is difficult to understand, from an emotional/social perspective… Not sure if them staying together makes the story scary or baffling. Another twist in human nature I guess.
It is a tragic and unnerving film, which has you flip-flopping between the characters as to who to root for. I was weirdly on Amy’s side even after we figured out how messed-up she is. I think it’s because I like revenge movies, and she had a bit of Thelma & Louise in her storyline.
That was until she seduced and generally annihilated an equally creepy ex-boyfriend while ‘missing’. It was gruesome, it made me feel uncomfortable, and I didn’t like it. It was the tone of Requiem for a Dream and I couldn’t deal. Nevertheless, it was ‘refreshing’… for lack of a better word… seeing a female playing the violent part that typically would be played by a male in horrors.
Pike’s character has a twisted mind, but before we realise the full potential of her off-kilted psyche, I thought the character was resembling that ‘crazy ex’ your friend has had before. If I hadn’t of known it was based on a book authored by a female, I would have said the writer was a dude encapsulating his ex who had tenancies to become a wee-bit obsessive.
As Pike said in an interview about this “social satire” film, we are all editing ourselves – on Facebook and in public – so who are we all really? What are we capable of?
I think that’s what the surprise ending meant. Perhaps I shouldn’t compare it to the uneasy, shocking films like Trainspotting and Requiem for a Dream, that leave you feeling squeamish and uncomfortable.
But I have to stress what a great film Gone Girl is. It’s not entertaining, but it does challenge you to acknowledge the major social issues and kinks in human nature that are in society. We’re rubbing shoulders with the best and the worst of humanity.
Jodie’s rating: 8/10