A very screwed up movie about two very screwed up people

Featuring

Ben Affleck as Ben Dunne
Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne
Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings
Tyler Perry as Tanner Bolt
with Carrie Coon as Margot Dunne
and Kim Dickens as Det. Rhonda Boney

You know that saying that a woman gets married to a man because she wants to remodel him? Well, this is one movie that explores the consequences when that desire to change a man gets extreme. Of course, they both started out a bit screwed up in the first place, which helps. What we get is a dark, strange and mildly disturbing story about two very troubled people, murder, betrayal and mutually assured hate.

Ben Dunne has a troubled life, he’s fallen into a rut with his wife Amy, who nobody in his family likes, not least his twin sister, Margot. After commiserating with Margot for a while about his fifth wedding anniversary, he goes home to find the house trashed and Amy gone, in an apparent kidnapping. As the police hunt for clues to Amy’s disappearance, you start to wonder whether or not it was Ben who made Amy go away.

The first half of the movie deals with Ben’s life during the investigation, as he’s hounded by the media, his sister, the police and his mistress, while it builds up a nearly convincing case about Ben’s guilt. I’m told by a very reliable source that it’s usually the spouse that offs the other in about ninety per cent of cases. And…then we cut away to Amy, who’s still very much alive. I won’t say much more, but the rest of the movie becomes a dark and moody thing, with dark, atmospheric sound and design, the results of which made me scared of The Boss**.

As the rest of the story unfolds, it becomes obvious that despite all the recriminations between Ben and Amy, they are perfect for each other, with a deep understanding of the deep dark secrets they both hide. Affleck and Pike pull off some very convincing and scary characters, and you begin to think just how much they deserve each other. Their relationship began with romantic love, devolving into something like a Cold War. There are many parts of the story that makes you think “this is frankly ridiculous”, and there are. Like why someone would want to stay in a destructive marriage for five years.

Anyway, Gone Girl is a good movie, if you’re after dark, mad characters who can do nothing but hurt each other. As the movie keeps going, there needs to be some suspension of disbelief, though it’s mild enough to forgive. Murder, betrayal and pain are central to this film, so don’t go into Gone Girl thinking this is your usual detective mystery. Instead, it’s a study into the psychology of two very screwed up people.

** – Yes, she’s right behind me…

Check out the trailer

Watch this if…

You like mysteries and crime movies. Except half way through, it stops being one, and becomes a film about completely a destructive relationship.

Don’t watch this if…

You’re not really into dark and moody movies with a tinge of ridiculousness. Apart from this pathetic excuse, there’s actually no reason to give this a miss.

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