David Fincher is one of the best directors out there. Especially, when he’s making thrillers. From “Seven” to “Fight Club” and finally until his last movie – “Gone Girl”. Fincher made “Gone Girl” like a puzzle. His characters are like pieces of puzzle which don’t fit into the picture until the very end. Arguably, they don’t fit after the end either. “Gone Girl”, novel of Gillian Flynn, is very interesting for screen, her heroes (or heroines) are self-destructive, highly intelligent, and provocative – sometimes I could say – evil incarnate. Critic from “New York Times Book Review” said that “Gone Girl” was very dangerous material for the author because of its potential of condemning feminism as a concept through “Fantastic Amy” and her actions throughout the movie. I don’t think that Fincher was overly concerned with that prospect after reading source material. Bigger question was, I reckon, how to transfer all the psychological elements of the novel to the big screen. After seeing “Gone Girl”, I must say that the transfer succeeded completely.
Rosamund Pike is well worth of an “Oscar” in her Amy performance. She is in many ways the personification of likeable housewife whose husband is – in a nutshell – a prick. Unemployed, unrealized writer whose only ambition is to fuck something younger, to drink something stronger and not to be concerned with his, overly ambitious and highly intelligent, young wife. After “Disney” illusion of love ended, both of them were forced to seek the lie in one another. Both of them decided that the lie isn’t the view they want to see from day to day. Ben Affleck is, in a sense, perfect choice for a husband: he’s an “everyday Joe” whose dreams are crushed in contact with harsh American reality of recession and economic crisis. All of that won’t spoil the film to you if you haven’t seen it because all of that you’ll find out just at the beginning. Man do not know what the women think. Man do not know what do women feel. Man are (more often than not) selfish pricks interested only in living their relaxed days as they see fit. That’s not my opinion (to make that clear), that is first message we get when we’re seeing “Gone Girl”. And then – cut. Fincher is a master of deception. Every good thriller director should be. Something happens then. All that we knew until that point was a lie. Did we too make laughs at our reflection in the mirror (or did Fincher)? Can’t say, but – plot thickens. We have to start making puzzle from the beginning, all that we did is wrong.
“Gone Girl” takes a turn, movie goes in another direction and I asked myself: Who’s gone here? When the girl is gone, hell gets loose. Hell here isn’t just a metaphor and while watching it on the screen the movie “Hunt” came to my mind. Here too, hunt is not implicated, it’s literal. Fincher is playing jazz with my head. In some masochistic kind of way, I enjoyed it. Victim is not easily defined in this movie. Are we all victims if we allow it? We can’t take simple conclusion. In this movie, as in some other Fincher’s too, there are no clean black and white characters. Everything is gray. In the end (and most criticism about the movie is related to the end) we can’t be appalled by the absence of justice because justice isn’t clear. “Gone Girl” isn’t movie for somebody who likes clean endings and fairy-tales. Here, the ending is more realistic, dark and not so predictable. Here, ending is just a beginning.
There are some other questions we can raise too. In a polite society we won’t question female victims, won’t question the sacrifice. Critics about that aspect of the movie were made quite often. Well, after seeing it, I would say that sometimes we as a society just want things to end. We don’t wont agony to last. We, as a society, like happy ends. In that regard end that we get for our characters in a movie is double-joke really. For the public in the movie, ending is fit to the characters. For the public in the cinema, however, ending is bitter. We would like to be crossed like the public in the movie, we would like to have everything cleaned up. But we know too much. We have too much dirty laundry revealed to us and we are – irreversibly – contaminated. After the final credits girl is gone but the hell is left to us. And Fincher? He’s probably still laughing and playing psychedelic jazz.