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Gone Girl Review: dark comedy topped by wicked leads

Film: Gone Girl – dark comedy topped by wicked leads

Aided by terrific marketing David Fincher solidifies his position in the upper echelons of the best directors working today. His cinematography, eye for dark comedic timing and relentless reshoots make Gone Girl one of the best movies of 2014.

Although the feature is 20 minutes too long and begins to linger and lag towards the climax, Gone Girl revels in its mystery, unexpected twists and audience analysis. Audiences enjoyed this film so much because, in David Fincher’s own words, people are ‘perverts’. We like to watch things that surprise us, that are unnervingly grotesque and that make our lives appear priceless.

Indeed he achieves this with the help of Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Carrie Coon and, dare I say it, Tyler Perry. That’s right, this is the only feature I have seen where Tyler Perry is actually commendable. When he’s not cross dressing as a wrinkly old granny or destroying franchises, Tyler Perry is actually very good as Ben Affleck’s damage control lawyer.

It is now that I must unfortunately point out the elephant in the room and no it isn’t Tyler Perry’s Madea. It’s Neil Patrick Harris; singularly, NPH is a terrific and progressive person and commendable dramatic and comedic actor. But his attempt at disturbing and damaged ex-lover came across more as forced than legitimate. But, in truth, his character is a mere smudge on this grand scale of a painting.

Affleck himself has improved exponentially in the past decade and it seems as though his work behind the camera on Oscar winning features like Argo has endowed him with an appreciation for what occurs in front of it. His personal experience of public outcry and hate is one of the reasons Fincher chose him for this feature and boy did he deliver. You begin to wonder did he really do it? Is he a normal guy? What’s wrong with him? All this and more is achieved through his subtle facial changes detailed by Fincher’s meticulous eye.

But what Gone Girl will be remembered for is its stand out female performances and all dues must go to Rosamund Pike and Carrie Coon, who I still believe should be nominated for Best Lead Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively.

Coon’s chances may be hindered by screen time but in terms of supporting actress it is difficult to see one with more passion, emotion and realism than that of Carrie Coon.

Unlike a lot of other moviegoers, my biggest worry came with Rosamund Pike. Granted she is an experienced actress but not one that excelled in all her roles. Nevertheless, Gone Girl was her film. She stole the limelight when she wasn’t on screen and demanded our attention with here cold calculated eyes and her soft yet eerie voice. You can already hear fat old studio execs perking up at the thought of leading with Rosamund Pike.

Gone Girl is a mysterious triumph which paints cinema as an efficient art canvas where every detail can be tailored to mean this or that but what brings it to the next level is its outstanding central performances.

Score – A-

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