This is one of those reviews that is hard to write, because there is so much packed into it, it's hard not to spoil. I would love to open some sort of chat room discussion with those of you who have seen the film, but this review may be lacking in depth as to not spoil the reader. I'll stay away from discussing plot points and focus more on what I liked and why this film is important in our media infested world.
Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne, a man who's wife goes inexplicably missing. The more that is revealed about the couple's marriage, the more that Affleck is seen as his wife's killer. Rosamund Pike plays Amy Dunne, a writer that Nick met in New York 5 years earlier and married. Her character is very well-developed through flashbacks of their meeting up until the present situation.
The media is very quick to crucify Nick, based on his sociopathic demeanor. He doesn't seem to feel anything throughout the film, which causes the public to see Nick as a pretty obvious suspect in this kidnap/murder case. He is quickly perceived as the bad guy based on the fact that he isn't a good guy. The movie uses very fluid flashbacks to show how the Dunnes got to this dark point in their marriage, and how Nick goes from attractive charmer to uncaring, numb husband. No one in this film is painted as good or completely bad, which makes it almost impossible for the audience to form an opinion or come to their own conclusion on the situation. Gone Girl is almost a commentary on how much public perception and the media could mean nothing and everything. Tyler Perry (Nicks attorney) and Carrie Coon (Margo Dunne, Nick's twin sister) have to get Nick to wake up to the fact that everything he does is under a microscope, and that perception is greater than truth in this world.
Without David Fincher's special brand on this story, it wouldn't have been nearly as effective. Trent Reznor killed it (no pun intended) with the soundtrack; it's still ringing in my ears. The cinematography reminded me a lot of Fincher's The Social Network and even Fight Club at some parts. There's nothing like the dark, clean look of Gone Girl, but it interacted so well with the soundtrack that you can't get it out of your head. The fact that I can't stop thinking about this movie is 50% the story and 50% the visuals and soundtrack. Fincher knocked this one out of the park, and his haunting style can't be matched.
It's nice to be able to go to the theater and see some truly great cinema in October, which I feel is pretty unusual as the summer movie season is over. You will no doubt get wrapped up in Gone Girl, and you will carry it home with you long after you left the theater.