Bestselling author Gillian Flynn’s first film adaptation is the most star-studded of all (and yes, all three of her books are currently in some state of cinematic production, so take that, John Grisham), as Gone Girl boasts director David Fincher behind the camera and Ben Affleck squarely in front of it. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Rosamund Pike (as said “girl”), Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Sela Ward, Scoot McNairy, Patrick Fugit, and Casey Wilson. Despite some of those more comedy-skewing names, Gone Girl is one heck of a hardcore drama.
Affleck plays Nick Dunne, one half of what used to be a hip, happening Manhattan couple before he uprooted his wife Amy (Pike) and moved the pair back to his small Missouri hometown. Although Nick’s reasons for moving were fair enough (a sick dad, financial troubles, and an idea for the usual fresh start were among them), Amy has never quite adjusted to small town life. And, more than that, she’s never quite adjusted to some of the changes that Nick has gone through since the move. When Amy goes missing, Nick automatically becomes a suspect in the disappearance — and you better believe that plenty of people think that Amy is an actual goner, and that Nick killed her himself — but this is way more than a missing person story. Flynn’s trademark brand is best described as twisted thriller, so Fincher seems like a pretty natural fit for the material, but does that shine through in the film’s first trailer?
This trailer is all about juxtaposition: the dreamy Elvis Costello song “She” playing over seemingly happy past scenes of the Dunnes mashed up with Nick looking worried and freaked out in the present, before things sort of just crumble and get still darker. Flynn’s book has plenty of surprises in store for its readers, so keeping some of that stuff secret in service to the movie is to be expected, but it’s hard to watch this trailer knowing what’s really going on, as it doesn’t even remotely give enough hints to just how many twists will unfurl during the film’s runtime. Take a look:
Fans of Flynn’s book will surely recognize all sorts of bits in this trailer — from the overturned ottoman to that darkened location with those meandering men (it’s an abandoned department store, and nothing good happens there) and even the bar that Nick owns (it’s called “The Bar”) — but that’s not to say that this first trailer is actually representative of the book itself. Gone Girl is outfitted early on with the all the normal bits of a typical crime story, from the crime to the suspects to the motive to the media, before taking a hard left somewhere around the middle. Instead of hinting at that, this just looks like a straightforward enough criminal tale gussied up with some quick-cutting of Fincher’s sickly color palette. Also, there’s just way too much Affleck — we need more Pike!
Here’s hoping that Fincher is just messing with us, and keeping things close to the vest for now.
Gone Girl opens on October 3.
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