Amy Dunne: “I will practice believing my husband loves me but I could be wrong.”
Director David Fincher has another winner in “Gone Girl”, the story based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn. The story revolves around the disappearance of Nick Dunne’s (Ben Affleck) wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike). Nick faces immense pressure form the media and police, and we quickly learn more about Nick and Amy’s marriage.
Fincher as he always does, captures the two characters in ways that only Fincher can do. The dark backdrops create a mysterious world filled with doubt, lies, and deceit. For Affleck this is another successful notch on his belt. His demeanor leaves you wondering what his role is in his wife’s disappearance, and if he really cares that his wife is gone. While Affleck keeps a consistent flow of mystery, the real star in this film is Rosamund Pike who plays Amy brilliantly.
The success in this film is the imbalance between the two characters. As a viewer you root for one, and quickly jump to the other not knowing who deserves the most blame in this faltered marriage. The character development by Fincher is a key ingredient in formulating a path of unknown.
Pike who plays Amy in the film, this is a breakthrough performance. A performance that should lead her to an Oscar nomination. While Pike has been acting in TV and movies since 1998 this role challenges her in new ways. Her character must push the limit in order for the audience to buy into the disturbed marriage that she uses as her alibi. Pike landed this role despite the big name frontrunners who consisted of Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Emily Blunt, and Olivia Wild.
“I liked that people didn’t immediately know who Rosamund was,” Fincher told W. “I’d always liked Rosamund in movies, but I didn’t really know her. That made her very interesting.”
It’s clear that Pike prepared for the role of Amy Dunne with meticulous attention. Pike worked to craft Amy’s handwriting, so that it would match the character’s personality. “I could have had somebody just create a diary, but I worked with a graphologist. What would this say about her personality type?” Pike told USA Today. “It would convey who Amy was. In my real life, I’m not meticulous and methodical like she is. I’m messy when she’s immaculate.” Pike when continued, “when we were doing the voiceover for Gone Girl, we’d go in and get the line just how we wanted it, and if we didn’t like a single word, we’d go in and make a puncture hole and insert a different version of a single word, to get every nuance we wanted to explore,” Pike told Esquire. “I love working in that kind of detail. It’s really thrilling.”
As someone who hasn’t seen Pike in many films, I was fascinated with her delivery on screen. Without her the film is just a film. A film with a really good director, and above average actor. Would “Gone Girl” still be an above average film with Charlize Theron, or Natalie Portman? They certainly have proven Oscar worthy performances, but this was Pike’s role to prove, and she did justice to it.
Other supporting actors in the film include Neil Patrick Harris (Desi Collings) who plays an old love interest of Amy. NPH has what we can label as an unforgettable scene in the film. I really can’t say more than that. His role is innocent. Love creates a naive character who gets lost in his own cloud of judgement. Tyler Perry (Tanner Bolt) also makes a strong appearance as the lawyer for Nick Dunne. As always Perry adds a little humor, but Fincher doesn’t overuse it. It’s a toned down, slicker version of Perry. Carrie Coon (Margo Dunne) who plays the twin sister of Nick Dunne does a fantastic job showing the bond between brother and sister. Through this complicated journey, Margo stays true to Nick, and offers all the support you would expect from a family member. In any murder/suspense mystery you need a lead detective. Kim Dickens (Detective Rhonda Boney) is a sharp yet simple minded character. She knows what she is looking for, but at the same time wants to believe that Nick is telling the truth. She finds herself in between the fine-line of evidence, and human judgement.
The cast overall is a memorable one, and Fincher once again give you a cinematic experience that lasts with you after you leave the room. For now “Boyhood” still tops my list as the best movie I have scene in 2014, but “Gone Girl” isn’t far behind.