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Movie Review: “Gone Girl”

Oct 042014
 
 By , October 4, 2014
Movie Review: "Gone Girl"

Gone Girl

“Gone Girl” – a film review by Gary Chew

Alfred Hitchcock would immensely enjoy “Gone Girl,” the new David Fincher movie now opening with Ben Affleck and Rosamond Pike taking the leads. “Girl” comes from the best selling thriller with the same title, by Gillian Flynn.

Gone Girl Two other famous persons who would not enjoy “Gone Girl” are certainly Nancy Grace and Giraldo Rivera. In fact, those well known cable figures may wish to sue Reese Witherspoon (a principal producer), should they happen to buy a ticket to see it.

“Gone Girl” is devilishly entertaining and kept me laughing all the way through it even though it’s about an obviously Republican guy named Nick Dunne (Affleck) who’s suspected of killing his wife Amy (Pike). Amy also seems likely to favor the GOP. Both are unemployed writers from the big city, having moved to less urbane surroundings in Missouri due to both of their families’ need for moral support.

Fortuitously, the script has Amy’s parents setting up a trust fund for their only daughter, which lends veracity for the younger pair’s liberal spending over the course of the movie.
On Nick and Amy’s 5th anniversary, she just flat disappears, but not without some clues found in the couple’s home by the local police that eventually put Nick in a legal bind and smothered in suspicion by the viewing public for killing Amy.

The delicious switch “backing and forthing” that wafts through the narrative as to whether Nick is as awful as he seems and guilty of murdering his wife, kept me nailed. But the best amusement in “Gone Girl” stems from the media attention Amy’s disappearance is stoked by TV personalities one might mistake for being a “Nancy Grace” or “Giraldo Rivera.” Add to that the crippling gullibility of too many television viewers enraptured by the progress of finding out whether Amy is dead, and if so, did Nick murder her. For me, that adds an extra star to this picture’s worth.

Gone GirlPeople who go to the movies often ought to be reminded of that in mainstream thriller soaps. “Girl” is well acted and written as well … Flynn having also written the script.

Other effective turns are given by Neil Patrick Harris, Amy’s rich former boy friend; Tyler Perry as Nick’s lawyer; Carrie Coon as Nick’s sister and Kim Dickens, who is just right as the local lady detective wanting to do things right. You’ll be surprised just how few characters in this chuckle-inducing, yet creepy, rather bloody, sexy movie keep the standards of Ms. Dickens’ character.

Beware of hyped reviews of this picture. Some of the more effervescent movie gurus are pinning five stars on it. It actually clocks in at a three or three plus.

“Gone Girl” is lengthy, but sails right along so you don’t know that you’ve spent two and half hours watching it. I predict women will get a large kick from “Gone Girl.” It’s really vicious fun that ends as if there just might be, with any luck, a sequel or maybe a sitcom on one of the darkly programmed cable channels.

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Gary Chew was a classical music host, programmer and producer on Capital Public Radio’s KXPR 88.9FM, Sacramento for 18 years. He retired in January 2007. Read more about Gary's long and storied career here.
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