Spoiler-Free Review: Gone Girl (2014)

Ben Affleck (Nick) & Rosamund Pike (Amy) meet

Marriage is the main villain (as one film critic noted) in this diabolical film directed by David Fincher (Seven, The Social Network, House of Cards).  What goes on between two people within a marraige is a mystery to outsiders.  And individually, we can be a mystery to our loved ones. It’s not a date movie, though one ad mentioned those words.  I went to see this film during its opening weekend with a group of friends; the two who read the novel (by Gillian Flynn) said it was very close to the book.  One of my friend’s really liked Affleck’s low-key (almost a regular guy) performance, as did I.  I only read a few chapters before seeing the film, but it’s very good (Flynn has a way with today’s modern language and dark humor). 

Nick wipes away some sugar from Amy’s lips

Fincher knows how to set the mood in his work- he succeeds well here, too.  The music, color palette, pacing- it all works together to keep the viewer interested.  One friend said that it really kept her attention, unlike many recent films.  Rosamund Pike (a Brit who had to gain and lose 15 lbs. twice for this role) gets to showcase her talents with her complex character.  Pike wasn’t well-known to US viewers, though I’d seen her in different films and series before (being an anglophile).   One friend commented: “Women can be crazy!” 

Amy and Nick at a book launch party

The supporting cast (yes, even Tyler Perry) does a fine job.  There are a few scenes that will be difficult for more sensitive viewers, including one involving a large quantity of blood.  In a pivotal scene near the end, blood is used in a creative (metaphorical) way.  In the middle of this film, I remember thinking to myself that I was glad to be single! 

Ayad Akhtar talks about his novel (& more) with college students

The author is introduced; about his boyhood:

Reading 2 excerpts from his novel (American Dervish):

Writing as a minority; interpretations; importance of failure:

More on “the work” of writing; falling “in love deeply” w/ literature; characters (“Do I care what happens next?”):

 Q & A session: