Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
keeping secrets within intimate relationships
faking a pregnancy
unhappiness in marriages
how marriages sometimes break down
people that manipulate others
In what ways do some couples, display only their very BEST self during courtship?
dynamics of long-term relationships
the sense of bankruptcy that both individuals and communities may feel during financially hard times
murder in the Bible
TV scandal culture / devious media
problems sometimes created when news media cover some stories too much and sensationalize them
twins in the Bible
|Featuring:||Ben Affleck … Nick Dunne
Rosamund Pike … Amy Dunne
Neil Patrick Harris … Desi Collings
Tyler Perry … Tanner Bolt
Sela Ward … Sharon Schieber
Carrie Coon … Margo Dunne
Kim Dickens … Detective Rhonda Boney
Patrick Fugit … Officer Jim Gilpin
David Clennon … Rand Elliot
Lisa Banes … Marybeth Elliott
Missi Pyle … Ellen Abbott
|Director:||David Fincher—“Fight Club” (1999), “Se7en” (1995), “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008)|
New Regency Pictures
|Distributor:||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation|
Meet Nick and Amy Dunne. The two have been happily married for the past five years, quietly living in the suburbs of North Carthage, Missouri.
On the night of their five year anniversary, Nick comes home to discover the house has been vandalized, and, worst of all… Amy is missing.
As the police investigate the incident, they can’t help but notice how calm and composed Nick is about Amy’s disappearance. As evidence (including Amy’s diary) quickly builds against Nick, it all boils down to this one question: Did Nick kill his wife Amy in cold blood?
One word describes how I feel about “Gone Girl” right now: confused. This is a movie that, for me, was both enjoyable, yet also extremely offensive, which makes me wonder, “Why was it so offensive, and yet still a really good thriller?” In order to help organize my thoughts clearly, I decided to put it in bullet points:
The Story: Gillian Flynn (the author) is brilliant. The story she has created reaches a depth that after I had left the theater I kept thinking, “Wait, I get it! Because this happened this was also able to happen!” After I walked out I had more questions than answers, but in a way that was good. I couldn’t help but wonder how the story would continue. What I also appreciated was the way Flynn (and director David Fincher) successfully mastered the art of misdirection in this story. There are so many twists and surprises that I was kept guessing until the very end. And that’s how you write a movie.
The Characters and Their Development: In many films translated from books, a lot of what gives the novel wonder disappears. Sure, the basic gist of the story is still there (like with the Harry Potter films), but some of the true essence and character development gets lost. In “Gone Girl,” however, this is not the case. Nick and Amy’s characters are fully developed to the point where I felt for both Amy and Nick (example: While I felt sorry for Nick for his wife being kidnapped, I also disliked him for how he reacted to the situation in the first place.).
The Performances: After seeing “Gone Girl,” I can say that Ben Affleck has become one of my favorite Hollywood actors. The way he portrays Nick Dunne (his emotions or lack thereof, his entire personality) is nothing short of incredible. The same can be said of Rosamund Pike as Amy. While she does not say much in the beginning of the film, her character develops more towards the end and her performance flourishes.
Content: There is A LOT to be cautious about with “Gone Girl.” A lot. What viewers will have to deal with are some extreme moments of violence (including a scene where a character slits a throat open with a knife and pools of blood are shown).
There is also some INCREDIBLY graphic sexual content and nudity. Sexual content includes multiple scenes (in flashbacks) of a couple having different forms of sex in public places with accompanying sound effects. A husband is shown cheating on his wife with another woman. There is also some male nudity, a scene where a woman is shown undressing (nudity involved), scenes involving a woman’s bare breasts, talk of masturbation, incest, different forms of sex, and talk of various sexual body parts.
In one sex scene, one person slits the other’s throat, while having sex. A woman abuses herself, including jabs a hammer into her eye, causing a huge purple bruise. There is also a scene where a man throws a woman hard to the ground and in another he slams her head against the wall. Another scene involves someone drawing their own blood (in large quantities) and pouring it onto the floor. Please be aware, I have not listed all of the violence.
There is also some heavy profanity to deal with. Multiple and frequent instances of f**k and sh*t are heard. Also, the words c*nt, a**, a**-hole, b**ch, h*ll, t*ts, and p*ssy. God and the Lord’s name are also taken in vain several times.
Morality Issues: “Gone Girl” is a dark film. As one commenter stated (again, without going too much into detail), “Gone Girl” blurs the line between good and evil, which will rightly make many Christians especially uncomfortable.
One of the issues “Gone Girl” deals with is adultery. It is unfortunate that in our society the concept of adultery is becoming accepted and justified by some. The world seems to want adulterers to feel justified in their actions, whether they be for or against God. The idea of “doing whatever feels right to you” has become widely accepted in our society.
Christians, however, are reminded that marriage is a sacred institution, made between a man and a woman in the sight of God, and that it is a lifelong commitment, “for better or for worse.” God has granted no instances where it is justified or right to commit adultery. Absolutely none. Here are just a few of the many Scriptures that touch on this:
And as a reminder to those who are not married:
Matthew 5:27-28—You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
With some serious, large amounts of editing, perhaps this film could have been recommendable, as the performances are good, the story serves its purpose well in the psychological thriller genre, and the characters are developed. But morally, as it is, this movie is extremely offensive. No question. Sexual content and nudity are ever present, scenes of violence are frequent (some are very gross), and profanity runs rampant.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Extreme
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
Director David Fincher and stars Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck are at the top of their game in this mesmerizing adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel. …the film views marriage as a performance of sorts, a contract under which husband and wife agree to a certain measure of pretense. The need to perform, privately as well as publicly, becomes quite literal…
—Justin Chang, Variety
…It’s full of despair and downright depressing…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…a story that spins ever more wildly—and sexually and gruesomely—out of the realm of normalcy and into something more like “The Twilight Zone” had it been created by the makers of “Saw.” …as macabre in its twisted blending of sex and violence as anything I've ever seen…
—Adam R. Holz, Plugged In
…extremely bloody murder scene… extreme sexual content… at least 77 obscenities (including many “f” words)…
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…At its strongest, “Gone Girl” plays like a queasily, at times gleefully, funny horror movie about a modern marriage, one that has disintegrated partly because of spiraling downward mobility and lost privilege. …
—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
…at times every part of me recoiled in disgust…
—Christa Banister, Crosswalk