Late To The Party : “Gone Girl”

Better late than never, I take a look at David Fincher’s “Gone Girl.”

Trash Film Guru


I’m going to proceed with a fair degree of  caution as I write this, and you should probably do the same while reading it, because I’m about to level a pretty serious charge at a film I generally liked, and try to avoid too much by way of “spoilers” while doing so, even though it’s a pretty safe bet that almost anyone who’s interested in seeing David Fincher’s highly-acclaimed Gone Girl has probably already done so. Why the tip-toeing, then? Well —  call it a courtesy simply because, hey, not everyone has seen it yet, as evidenced by the fact that I just caught it at the local discount house (the Riverview in Minneapolis, for those interested in such details) tonight and the joynt was packed to the rafters.

First, the good : Fincher is certainly in top form stylistically here, and handles both his actors, and his admittedly combustible…

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10 responses to “Late To The Party : “Gone Girl”

  1. I thought the film was pretty good, but not as good as so many did. It sort of devolved into less of a sociological/issue exploration and more of an over-the-top entertaining-but-ultimately-rather-silly tale.

    But I didn’t have the take-away you’ve posited here. Why do you feel the depiction of Amy transcends the fictional character within the film, and expresses out into the realm of collective gender indictment? I don’t know what the writer and director think about women in general, and didn’t recognize any messages from them in the film that would tell me. In order to set up and support the fairly extreme plot twist(s) presented, the character had to be much different than she seemed, in sufficiently over-the-top ways.

    I think the film ends up being less “serious” – or at least, more difficult to take seriously – than one might have expected going in. But I didn’t read misogyny into it. Why is Amy any more a…metaphor? distillation?…for/of a group to which she belongs – gender or other – than any other fictional character in cinematic or literary work that tells a far-fetched story?


    • I think because they took such great pains to set up Nick as a complete bastard early on, it felt like Amy was “brought back in” as a metaphor for every woman who ever wanted to get even with a guy who did her wrong — with the twist being that she was far worse. In the end, it’s the whole “hell hath no fury” cliche writ large, and any guy who’s ever needed forgiveness from a woman in his life can tell you what a load of complete nonsense that is.


      • Yeah, I thought Nick was shown to be so wart-laden for the same reason so many films do such a thing – to (potentially) misdirect the viewer as to the identity of the doer in a whodunit. That didn’t seem to me unusual (or original), nor to provide the motivation for a hyper-vindictive female character. But I suppose it’s open to interpretation, unless the filmmakers choose to elucidate regarding their intentions.


        • Or maybe it was for both reasons. But I don’t know that that would imply that all women are Amy. But if you’re right about the metaphorical intent, then it’s a much worse film than I thought.


          • I have no clue if I’m right or not, it’s just the impression I got. Think about it — the crap Nick pulls is just run-of-the-mill stuff sleazy-type guys do all the time. The stuff Amy pulls is off-the-charts manipulative and psychotic, and by the end he’s trapped in a marriage he doesn’t want with a controlling-at-all-costs wife and a baby on the way. If that’s not the ultimate expression of the female “ball-buster” myth, then nothing is.


        • It was a big misdirection/red herring play, for sure — but it overplayed its hand, I felt. By spending the first half of the flick making him look like an asshole and the second half making him look like a saint, by the time we got to the “maybe they deserve each other” ending, it had been too long since we saw how bad he was to make him seem like anything other than the victim here.


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