Gone Girl: Gillian Flynn: A Review

November 18, 2017

 

If you are a huge fan of dark, gripping novels that leave your mind in a complete mess but at the same time, blown by the way the plot unfolds or the excitement that comes from delving deep into the minds of different characters; this book is for you. Both the novel and the movie (being an adaptation) open to Nick Dunne discovering that his wife has gone missing and the living room is left in a state that would only suggest a possible abduction or more so, a murder! The book takes us on a spin by confusing us further and instigating us to suspect him, by showing us Nick’s very absurd and unpredictable train of thought.

 

"I felt myself enacting Concerned Husband," he says. "I wasn't sure what to say now. I raked my memory for the lines. What does the husband say at this point in the movie? Depends on whether he's guilty or innocent."

 

Which husband in the right mind would be so zen and almost non-carish in the event of his wife’s disappearance. All arrows point to Nick and it becomes extremely difficult to not suspect his involvement in a possible murder scenario, especially, when the police get involved. Flynn creates her characters with extreme care and every arc is well thought of.

 

 

Amy Dunne is a complicated being and every sentence that you will read her mind utter is twisted and unconventional, dazzlingly dark and indicating her deeply disturbed psychological mindset. Even the simplest lines

 

“I am fat with love! Husky with ardor! Morbidly obese with devotion!”

 

will take on a whole new meaning coming out of Amy. But the 'Amy Dunne' character became a huge hit! And I am not talking about the actor who played her in the movie, though she did complete justice to the part, portraying Amy’s sense of vulnerability along with her devilish mind. The actual character is grey and dark and perverse but a brilliant master mind and an intelligent woman. And that could be a reason why a horde of people who watched the movie came back loving Amy Dunne. Her wit and mind impresses you beyond measure and forces you to look beyond her deeds and insecurities about her marriage. Surprisingly, you almost start to sympathize with Amy and start idolizing her. And that shows finesse and brilliance in writing. The whole book is a series of alternate chapters from Nick and Amy’s point of views and current state of mind. We see their cracks in the marriage, we get into Amy’s head space and see what really infuriates her about Nick, what she expected of him and how he fell terribly short.

 

“He doesn’t talk to me. He behaves as if the act of talking physically pains him and I’m a vicious woman to ask it of him”

 

Reading Gone Girl takes you into the minds of two people who are intensely attached to each other and yet almost sick of seeing each other’s faces. Every marriage? The plot takes you through a treasure hunt designed by Amy, leaving behind notes for Nick that would disturb him more than ever and make him question the reason for her disappearance. But never really solves the mystery or gives us a clear cut reason for the series of events that took place. Can a troubled marriage really wreck this kind of havoc? Amy Dunne is shown to be a Type A personality, straight A’s and a Harvard degree, she is a city girl with a fairy tale life. What starts off as a huge suspicion on Nick gradually changes to genuine doubts about Amy’s character and what her scheming mind is capable of. Flynn brilliantly navigates us through different possibilities and takes us for a ride as she constantly decides just how much information to reveal. Nick is shown to be the laid back, nonchalant personality with a lack luster attitude and a general admiration towards Amy. The biggest reason for them coming together as a couple ought to be his blase attitude towards her which later starts to get on her nerves. Nick, on the other hand, is someone who has borrowed money from Amy to start a bar with his twin sister and is oddly evasive throughout the entire investigation. The plot is ingenious and the story-telling or just the way Flynn writes this delirious masterpiece is why I would suggest everyone to take out time and spend a good day reading the book. Following which you should grab a tub of popcorn and watch this exciting thriller. You wouldn’t want to miss out!

 

Here are a few lines from reviews of the movie which really stayed with me-

 

The New Yorker

At the same time, “Gone Girl” seemed like one of those experiences to which the “cultural uncertainty principle” applies: you can read the book or you can see the movie, but you can’t fully embrace both versions, because they’ll occupy the same brain-space, obscuring one another. Basically, you have to choose an experience. 

 

The Telegraph: Robbie Collin

The film shuttles between these two time periods, and Fincher’s masterstroke is in making neither ring entirely true: the director is so adept at crafting concretely plausible fictions, he knows exactly which details to tweak to throw the balance slightly off.

Amy is the best thing Pike has ever done: her performance is taut and poised, and at times almost masque-like. While her diary voice-overs swoon with emotion, her face gives you almost nothing.

 

Firstpost

Technically speaking, the film Gone Girl, written by Gillian Flynn, is largely faithful to Flynn's bestselling novel. It's well-plotted and cleverly constructed. However, the differences between screenplay and novel are significant because they tip the scales in Nick's favour and against Amy. What was in the novel a short phone conversation in which Tommy, a high school friend of Amy's, tells Nick she dropped stalking charges against Tommy becomes a face-to-face conversation in the film. Tommy details how he was framed by Amy and has since had to live the with the tag of being a sexual predator even though he isn't one. In the book, Amy kills a man after drugging him; the film shows her slashing his throat while he's having sex with her and she's shown relishing the blood gushing out of him and onto her.

 

P.S – Out all of the movie reviews, my personal favourite is and always will be The New Yorker. Here is a link https://www.newyorker.com/books/joshua-rothman/gone-girl-really

 

 

 

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