Directed by: David Fincher
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon
In cinemas October 2nd
Any movie based on a global best selling novel that permeated the psyche of its readers is always eagerly anticipated and this is no exception. Add to this that it’s directed by none other than David Fincher who gave us thrillers such as Seven and Zodiac and the excitement reaches fever pitch meaning this movie has a lot of hype to live up to.
In case you were wondering what it was about the clue is in the title. On their fifth wedding anniversary Amy Elliot-Dunne (Pike) disappears and her husband Nick (Affleck) soon finds the finger of suspicion pointing in his direction. Seeking solace and sanity with his twin sister Margo (Coon) his world begins to unravel as it looks more and more certain that Amy is actually dead. As the police delve deeper and more clues into the disappearance begin to surface secrets and lies from their marriage come to light and Nick finds himself persona non grata everywhere he goes. But all is not as it seems and as the story of Amy’s disappearance goes national Nick begins to realise that he didn’t really know his wife that well at all. Anyone who has read the book knows where this goes and for those of you that haven’t I don’t want to post spoilers but I will say that there is a twist in this tale that will make you realise that we never really know what goes on behind closed doors.
Affleck and Pike are both brilliant in their roles. Pike in particular deserves a special mention displaying a range that she has never previously been allowed to while Affleck’s usually annoying smugness works really well in the role of the tortured Nick. Finch definitely brings out the best in his cast. Everyone here does a great job and there is fabulous and convincing chemistry between all of the actors.
This benefits hugely from having the screenplay written by Gillian Flynn, who also write the source material. She has completely retained the ethos of the book. The tension is built beautifully and really draws you into the story from the off. You find yourself questioning every single character and wondering what they have to hide. Within the pathos of a story like this Fincher has managed to find a good deal of humour and there are some intentional laugh out loud moments that elevate the mood of the movie.
If I had one complaint it is that at 149 minutes it is somewhat too long. The last 10 minutes simply aren’t as snappy or gripping as the rest of the movie and this story could easily have been told in two hours or under.
That aside this is a gripping thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. A working knowledge of the book is not necessary in order to enjoy it but if you loved the novel then you will really like this even though it deviates slightly from the plot.