A Must See: Fincher and Affleck Strike Gold With “Gone Girl”

 Nick Dunne played by Ben Affleck, sharing with a tender moment with his wife in “Gone Girl.” (Photo courtesy of screenrant.com)

by Mike Reistetter

The suspenseful drama, “Gone Girl,” is the latest box-office success starring Ben Affleck. Helmed by David Fincher (“Se7en,” “Fight Club,” “The Social Network”), Gone Girl continued his trend of dark and tense story telling, while also incorporating tastefully placed wit and humor.

“Gone Girl” is also just one of many Affleck vehicles this decade that have replenished his career with both audience and critical praise, following several “bombs” that received negative press over the years prior to his strings of recent successes.

Affleck, whose accolades recent include earning the Oscar for Best Picture in 2012 for his film “Argo,” plays a writer named Nick Dunne in “Gone Girl.” Nick’s wife Amy goes missing on the morning of their fifth anniversary. What transpires over the course of the film is nearly two-and-a-half hours of bizarre twists and turns that drastically affect the ongoing investigation of Amy’s disappearance.

Flashbacks are utilized with great poise by an experienced director in Fincher, who captures the abily time has on magnifying the progression of sheer emotion (or lack thereof).

Affleck deserves Oscar consideration for this role. He plays a man that is picked apart by the media. The media, along with the police, point their fingers at Nick Dunne as the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance. Somewhat mirroring his own status as a figure fixated upon incessantly by the tabloids, Affleck sends aspects of his persona into his Nick Dunne character, exhausting all his efforts into convincing viewers (and himself) that his epic flaws do not necessarily prove his guilt. Fincher’s challenge for Affleck paid off, as his central character must finally learn to welcome in close confidants (his sister and his lawyer) if he ever wants to free himself from impending prosecution.

The supporting cast includes Rosemund Pike as Nick’s intelligent, Harvard-educated missing wife, Amy. Comedian Tyler Perry stepped out of his comfort zone to deliver a humorous, drag-less portrayal of Dunne’s criminal defense lawyer. Neil Patrick Harris also gave a commendable performance as one of Amy’s obsessive ex-boyfriends.

I recommend this film to those who adore mysteries. Film viewers easily entertained by narratives that christen those in the audience with a “deputy detective” title will experience unprecedented commentary on the genre; most of which includes thorough analysis and outlining of the effects social media and modern technology have on shaping criminal investigations.