Saturday, February 14, 2015

Gone Off the Rails.........

...could someone tell me what the hell just happened?  I mean, Gone Girl is a critically acclaimed book and film, right?  Now, I love David Fincher as much as the next film geek... House of Cards, and his '90s works: Se7en, Fight Club... something in between.
I guess they're all trying not to hurt anyone's feelings, and from the buzz around it, I was wondering why Rosamund Pike didn't win the Golden Globe for her performance.  Having finally seen the film, now I think I know why.  The movie as a whole has let her down.  Let me put it this way... I'm reminded of a passage from The Man Who Wasn't There... the 2001 Coen brothers film, not the 1983 "comedy" featuring a naked Steve Guttenberg.  Spoiler alert: Billy Bob Thornton tries to re-hire super attorney Freddy Riedenschneider a second time, and Billy Bob's telling the sad story to him with all its twists and turns.  Finally the lawyer said that the story was "giving him a headache."  Well, that's what Gone Girl did to me.
That Rosamund Pike's character is a quasi-celebrity, whose life is the inspiration for a series of popular kids' books, certainly doesn't help, and it seems like an extra layer of complication.  But it seems that films these days need to stay close to the upper crust of society.  Sure, Spider-Man is sort of a working class hero, but his friend Harry Osborn's a billionaire, right?  It's a quick and dirty way to get the media satellite vans pulling up to the house when the disappearance goes public.  I'll try not to spoil the plot too much, but Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike), wife of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), goes missing early on in the film.  Was she kidnapped?  Murdered?  Maybe both?  Did she stage it herself?  Okay, I'll spoil one plot point that I had a problem with.  A lot of Amy's blood was left at the crime scene... or rather, sloppily cleaned up.  Turns out that she drew her own blood to do it.  Not enough to pass out, but enough to make it seem like it was murder.  Doctors and other health care professionals may have a problem with this plot point; I'm neither of those things, but I did.
I will give the author props for one aspect of the film.  My favourite part was where we finally learned the ugly truth about what happened.  Let's just say that Amy shares some not-so-nice insights about her fellow females.  Was it wrong for me to like those?  Probably.  I guess they're the kind of things a chauvinistic man would say, really... but more insightful.  Something like that.  Also, Amy seems to feel about Adam Sandler movies the way I feel!  No quarrel there, girlfriend.  I think I hate them with more of a passion, but never mind.  Alas, this quickly falls by the wayside as the plot grinds on and on...
For me, maybe the story would have been more believable if the characters didn't become instant media celebrities.  The average media sensation never seems to have a backstory that's so complicated, or so filled with twists and turns.  Take James Frey, for example.  Was he just pretending to be a fraud for a greater cause?  No.  He's just a fraud.  Then again, he's no killer... as far as we know.
Also, I didn't feel hipster enough to enjoy the movie.  The beginning dialogue between Ben Affleck and his sister seemed far too hipster to me.  Or douchebaggy, one of the two.  I couldn't help but feel alienated.  But God bless the hipsters and douchebags of the world out there.  If the Gone Girl novel and film speak to you, so be it.  Or maybe I'm just jealous because the Rosamund Pike beats me to the punch.  I was all prepared to say, well... all marriages are like Nick and Amy Dunne, aren't they?  My response is: all rich people's marriages are like this.  Middle class marriages don't spawn as many murders.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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