Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Gone Girl

IMG_6958

On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne reports that his wife, Amy, has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. And people begin to question his involvement in his wife’s disappearance.

Where is Amy?..

gone-girl-missing-poster

Cast

Ben Affleck – Nick Dunne

Rosamund Pike – Amy Elliott-Dunne

Carrie Coon – Margo Dunne

Neil Patrick Harris – Desi Collings

Kim Dickens – Detective Rhonda Boney

Tyler Perry – Tanner Bolt

Casey Wilson – Noelle Hawthorne

a4df9835-1c1d-4805-bc4a-d136bf2641afWallpaper2

Well Done, Rosamund

I’ll make one thing clear – generally, I dislike Rosamund Pike. Lately it’s as though directors spot her in one feature and then throw her into another randomly, one of those actresses who grates on me rather than entertains me. I can’t explain why she grates on me – I think it’s just the whole “ugh. She’s in everything lately” aspect. So when I saw her face pop up again for Gone Girl, I sighed.

..she was fucking fantastic.

Her quality of acting – faultless.
Her voice / vocal abilities – excellent.
Her overall dynamic – captivating.
The effort she put into her character Amy – exceeded my expectations by miles.

Rosamund carried the entire movie, in every way possible. From her haunting voice to her convincing portrayal of sociopath Amy, the woman nailed it. I was hooked from beginning to end, and it was all down to the energy she fuelled into her performance. Amy narrates a lot of the movie from her diary, of which we get random snips of her writing in.

Rosamund-Pike-679x350

“everyone told us marriage is hard work..” she whispers soothingly, her hand gliding across the page of her diary. Then the movie continues. This was different somehow to other narrated films I’ve watched; intriguing, sinister. Listening to her had me desiring to know what was about to happen on screen. And this wins points from me. What also wins points from me is her voice..

Rosamund uses fantastic vocal abilities throughout Gone Girl. When narrating her story, her voice is hauntingly deep – sultry and a little scary. Almost emotionless, her diction flows in a robotic style – think of a mix of Mary-Alice Young from Desperate Housewives and the Stepford Wives. I loved every second, and found myself smiling as I listened to her deliciously strange storytelling. But her voice was only the beginning, because her acting was completely unrivalled.

Mary_Alice_Young_-_pilot

Brenda Strong as Mary-Alice in Desperate Housewives

Face Value

Rosamund was almost unreognisable during most of this movie. As the story unfolds, Amy’s circumstances change – and the actress matches these changes with her appearance. At the beginning of the movie, Amy and Nick stroll through a ‘sugar storm’ (basically passing by a local bakery as the workers unload tons of misty icing sugar), and Amy is smart. Dressed in a sleek black coat and her hair up in a blonde hive, she is the epitome of beauty as she grins beautifully – yet slighy strangely. Next minute, she (did Rosamund gain weight for the role?) is chubby, washed out and run down as we see her ‘hiding out’ on the other side of the country. But then circumstances shift again, and suddenly she is thinner, more exquisite looking and of much higher class than she was at the beginning.

gone-girl-01_612x380

Rosamund’s acting quality added to these characterisation skills was like an explosive chemical reaction. The two collided to seal the deal superbly between actress and film, bringing a faultless performance. One minute she’s laying sweetly on a bed, smiling like a vulnerable child – next she’s running through her house screaming hysterically and hurting herself (it’s all part of her elaborate plan). Rosamund is like a door; open – calm, close – rage. And just like that, she jumps from one mood to another effortlessly, it’s fantastic. This actress brings a fresh, dynamic approach to the screen which radiates from the screen wonderfully. (at one point I looked around the audience and every single head was still, facing the screen).

Remember that movie The Hand That Rocks The Cradle? It sprung to mind whilst watching Gone Girl, because that’s the sort of character you’re dealing with here. Rosamund Pike reminded me of Rebecca De Mornay in the sinister thriller – as if she’d based a few of Amy’s characteristics on Peyton’s I.E. psychotic. Saying that, during her ‘fatter’ scenes Rosamund looked a bit like Renee Zellwegger – weird.

hand-rocks-cradle-2

Rebecca De Mornay as Peyton in The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

The Score Scores

The music used in Gone Girl is nothing short of fantastic. Booming scores of music that added nicely to the action unfolding on screen. It is a different type of music though; almost sinister and full of dread. Coupled with Amy’s ominous voice it makes for uneasy but intriguing viewing – I bloody loved it. What adds to the atmosphere is the fact the music continues to pump out over the top of the scene in some parts of the film – for example, Nick and Amy stand talking about something which quickly escalates into an argument. The music slowly grows louder..

..the arguing becomes a fight – the music hits top volume. Now using music over the top of actors speaking runs the risk of ruining the scene I find (you may not be able to hear them for starters) but in this movie it worked perfectly, fitting in with the bizarre atmosphere already created by Amy herself. Like bread and butter, the combination worked. The musical scores also score points from  me.

o-GONE-GIRL-TRAILER-facebook

“This Is Insane”

..was the phrase I kept whispering to the woman sat next to me in the auditorium. In fact, this movie stirred such surprise reactions from me, I think I actually made a new friend at the cinema last night. I went to the cinema to watch Gone Girl on my own, but ended up being so won over by the story on screen that I kept turning to the lady next to me (also on her own) in reaction. If this situation between two strangers is anything to go by, then this movie is a ‘talker’ – one of those features which gets people discussing what’s happening as it happens. I noted the overall audience reaction: sat focused on the screen, a  air of intrigue, and laughing heartily at the darkly comic moments.

“Hello” to Yvonne if she’s reading this (yes – me and the female stranger seated next to each other got to ‘introduction’ stage). I love it when a movie makes such an impact that my reaction involves a total stranger. I suppose it means the producers did good, if a viewer can voice his / her reactions. More points scored here.

rosamundgonegirl_640px gone-girl-rosamund-pike

Should I Be Laughing?

This movie is the perfect example of black comedy. One minute there’s a murder scene on screen, the next the audience are laughing at one of the characters. What Gone Girl manages to do is seal the bond tightly between funny and shocking; its plot is so strangely enjoyable, that it made me question whether or not I should be laughing at certain things. It has an air of mystery constantly whilst delivering some ‘so-serious-they’re-almost-mocking-it’ characters.
From the main female detective and her odd male assistant to Amy’s subdued mother, the movie keeps on churning out highly diverse characters in an almost pantomime-style fashion.

My main tip for viewers is to literally – go with it. Let the movie unfold and react as you wish, don’t hold back.

1397564754_gone-girl-zoom 14041901_Gone_Girl_12

Supporting Cast

The supporting ensemble are fantastic.
Carrie Coon as Nick’s sister Margo is brilliant – some high tensity scenes helped along by the woman’s steadfast performance (and again, adding a dash of funny to serious moments). Kim Dickens who plays Detective Rhonda Boney is a unique addition to the cast, bringing a stern face and slick attitude to the situation – and she knows there’s something else going on with Nick..

still-of-kim-dickens-and-patrick-fugit-in-gone-girl-(2014)-large-picture

Casey Wilson who plays Amy’s “best friend” Noelle is a witty one. She blunders onto the scene wide-eyed and stroking her pregnant tummy whilst mouthing off about Nick. In her hilarious redneck accent, she’s constantly pointing the finger. Amy’s parents Marybeth and Rand are an odd couple. Clutching hold of each other as they walk, she seems to be the dominant one doing all the talking, while he just stands there looking forlorn. Lisa Banes and David Clennon are the perfect odd couple.

still-of-ben-affleck,-lisa-banes,-david-clennon,-kim-dickens-and-patrick-fugit-in-gone-girl-(2014)-large-picture gone-girl-carrie-coon

The casting of Gone Girl couldn’t have been better. The ensemble are a cocktail of caricatures who only boost the production like petrol to a fire. It definitely looks like everyone pulled their weight during the production. No complaints from me.

Couple Gone Girl

Amy’s Plan

..is fucking genius.
Keep your eyes firmly on the screen as she starts talking about her devious plot. It has to be one of the most conniving, twisted calculations I have ever seen in a movie. I was hooked. Don’t miss it.

Gone Girl was fantastic. And I was pleasantly surprised to have Rosamund Pike change my opinion of her. The actress brings a character to the big screen who is both loveable and loathsome combined, and dazzles with her acting quality. I anticipated this movie may be boring due to the whole ‘diary’ thing, jumping back and forward in time and resulting in a long-winded, messy shambles.
It couldn’t have been more opposite. The structure of this movie was put together brilliantly, furnished with an unbelievable story and great cast. Rosamund completely steals the show with Amy’s bewildering and deliciously mystifying personality and of course, some truly gruesome antics. If you have read the book and are a fan, I have no doubt you will enjoy this movie. I’ve never come into contact with the book – and bloody LOVED it.
A brilliant piece of cinema.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on October 4, 2014 by .
%d bloggers like this: