There is an Alfred Hitchcock feeling to this thriller with its many twists and turns, first empathizing with one character and then another.
Ben Affleck plays a husband whose wife goes missing. He is mystified by her disappearance, but as the film unfolds we learn of his insensitivity to and mistreatment of his wife.
The initial question is whether he has killed her or whether she simply left never to be found due to his failure as a husband.
The Affleck character becomes a pariah in his small town and there is much media attention to him as the possible perpetrator of a crime against his wife.
Then a twist happens and he makes a plea on the national news for his wife to come home. She sees this apparently sincere expression from her husband and she plots a devious means of arriving back home to her “love.”
Rosamund Pike shows considerable dimension as the missing wife and portrays her devious character with credible skill. Her twisted plot unfolds with surprise and a callous indifference to innocent pawns in her plan.
In the meantime, Tyler Perry plays the flamboyant and media savvy defense attorney for Affleck in his plight facing a murder charge, since his wife has been missing for some time.
The next twist and turn is the return of his wife and the further devious plot she has for her husband.
The element of surprise is well-developed in this thriller directed by David Fincher who won academy award nominations for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network.
Mr. Fincher builds the curiosity in the audience wondering what will happen next. Gone Girl has a feel of film noir and is a stretch to a different style for Affleck. His own public comment that he felt emotionally detached from his character reflects that stretch. This was not the straightforward acting role he has been known for. The director asked for more and you could detect his lack of comfort with the role.
Anyone who enjoys a well-directed thriller with Hitchcock-like twists and turns will find this 2 hour plus film will satisfy their appetite for this genre.
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