Movie adaptations of books are always something to look forward to, especially if you’re both a movie buff as well as an avid reader (well, obviously). 2 reasons: It can either surpass expectations and result in the director scoring big time brownie points, or it can tank and you’ll probably blacklist the director. Forever. One movie that did surprisingly well with reducing people to tears before receiving rave reviews is none other than “The Fault in Our Stars“. After that film, every other director who had the intention of turning a novel into a film knew they had big shoes to fill.
Which brings us to the newly released (at least in Malaysia) “Gone Girl“.
Published in 2012, “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn made the New York Times “Best Seller” list within weeks of its release. The novel tells the dark and shocking story of journalist Nick Dunne and his wife Amy Dunne’s difficult marriage. After losing his job due to downsizing, he relocates himself and his wife from New York City to his small hometown of North Carthage, Missouri. On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. Nick eventually becomes a prime suspect in her disappearance for various reasons.
The story was picked up by David Fincher, the multiple award-winning director who was responsible for “Se7en”, “The Fight Club”, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, and “The Social Network”, just to name a few. But you get the idea on what you can expect from his mastery in his field of work, coupled with author Gillian Flynn’s assistance for the “Gone Girl” movie adaptation.
During the production of “Gone Girl”, there were rumours that Gillian Flynn overhauled the novel in order for it to fit the film format. However, having watched the movie, I found that it remained fairly loyal to the structure of the novel.
The movie came complete with scenes diary entries being written and narrated by Amy (played by Rosamund Pike) and it sounds just like the way it would if you read it with that voice in your head. The shots of Amy writing her diary entries were accompanied with flashbacks of Nick (played by Ben Affleck) and Amy’s past (but in Amy’s point of view), shuttling the audience between 2 times periods.
Sure, there were scenes that we would’ve never imagined to be so brutal and we have to admit that some acts seemed a lot shorter in the movie as compared to what you’d read in the book, but the plot is essentially unchanged, which is what a “Gone Girl” book reader would be eternally grateful for. And like the book, you get 2 different readings from 2 sides of the same marriage.
I must say though that I had expected the Missouri town that Nick and Amy to be a whole lot sleepier than what was pictured in the movie. That was my only gripe. No, wait, that wasn’t my only gripe. Rosamund Pike delivered an excellent performance of her character Amy – heck, she truly shined and it was nothing short of amazing. Not so much for Ben Affleck for his role as Nick though.
But to each his or her own.
That having said, we applaud David Fincher who having done this one so well! It’s no surprise that “Gone Girl” has overtaken “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” as his highest-grossing film in US.
Watch the trailer here:
“Gone Girl” is out in a cinema near you now.
For more information, visit the movie’s official website.