The artful, twisted mind of David Fincher can only be described as a cinematic minefield. His latest directorial effort, the cold, dark beauty Gone Girl, affirms this once and for all. In true Fincher style, the film is a cooly calculated vision - striking, confident and smoothly executed. Stylish and potent, this thriller is wrought with strategically arranged scares and has the audience feeling like the floor might fall through at any moment. There's a lethal, rather frightening proficiency and perfection to the structure and style. The film establishes Fincher as a truly prolific, engaging and creative storyteller. What he has crafted so meticulously is a pair of parallel realities, a battle of twisted perceptions equally rich and compelling. We are shown, in spectacular fashion, how from innocence, malevolence and neglect spawn and spread like spirited wildfire. Gone Girl is no typical "he said, she said" story. Fincher makes sure of that.
At first glance, Gone Girl tells but a simple tale. On the fifth anniversary of their marriage, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports the disappearance of his wife, Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike). The film depicts how gradually, under the pressures of investigation and the media torrent, the image of their marriage, once of glowingly perfection, begins to crumble and crack. The union is revealed to be one painted with fear, infidelity, guilt, insecurities, violence and blackmail. But then whose story is this? And does it bear any resemblance to the truth?
Constantly is David Fincher reestablishing the boundaries of modern film-making. Each of his contributions from the cultural phenomenon Fight Club to the American landmark The Social Network, forwards the cinema as a communicative, showcase medium of the contemporary, intelligent entertainment and storytelling. As a director, he is a visual perfectionist; every frame is quietly flawless, never extravagant but elegant, understated images. As the couple walk through sugar storms in dark alleys and New York libraries, flashing lights of the paparazzi descend upon the household and scene upon scene are played out at dusk, an ethereal beauty of darkness inevitably transcends and settles. The film's violence is controlled and steers clear of sensationalism, instrumental only to the plot.
The intricate compositions of each character elegantly unfold in sequence after sequence. Each of these scenes are complemented by a wonderfully simple score by Reznor and Ross, assisting in the pace and consistency of the entire feature. Each evocative melody is effective in creating a signatory atmosphere of its own, a Gone Girl world.
The film pays homage to the terse and terrifying potency of the media, the complexities of a precocious woman and ultimately to the binding union of marriage in both its finest form and its very worst. With Gone Girl, Fincher has struck the golden balance between entertainment and art, an aesthetic and perceptive glory.