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Thoughts on a Gone Girl

September 12, 2014

Gone Girl Teaser Poster
I’ve been fascinated with director David Fincher since his shocking feature film debut with SE7EN (1995). Alien 3 (1992) doesn’t really count, because Fox retained final cut and, in doing so, butchered the film. This is well documented and Fincher has voiced his disgust with it’s production in more than one interview. Since the, he has failed to disappoint. His filmography (The Game, Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) is (in my mind) flawless. He endures as my favorite director, and I feel that he is the Alfred Hitchcock of my generation.
I’ve always wanted to write a critical analysis on his life and work, but have a sneaking suspicion that it would break me. Having written a critique about the life and work of Bret Easton Ellis (which was included in the publication of If They Can’t Take A Joke, 2007), I realize that I have an obsessive and meticulous tendency to throw myself into research work completely. That, and although it may be morbid, I would rather praise Fincher’s complete body of work than appraise a filmography that is always already in progress. I am such an ardent supporter of Fincher’s creative endeavors that I named my son Benjamin after The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.
On October 3rd, Fincher’s Gone Girl opens in theaters starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. It’s based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn. I just finished the book and it’s an intriguing contemplation on the identities we present when we start romantic relationships versus our actual identities, which bleed through over time. The book is about the disintegration of a five year marriage followed by the abduction and/or possible murder of character Nick Dunne’s wife Amy Elliot Dunne. What follows is a suspenseful unraveling of media aggression, police procedure, public relations, predatory litigation and premeditated character assassination. I’d rather not get into spoilers for the sake of readers, but the conclusion was silly and unsatisfying. It didn’t seem faithful to the characters. Luckily, it’s rumored that Flynn (who also wrote the screenplay adaptation) changed the ending for the screen version.
I look forward to Gone Girl with eager anticipation. While many film buffs look down their nose at The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and/or Panic Room, I don’t share their opinion. It should also be noted that Fincher recently executive produced and directed the first two episodes of Netflix’s popular original series House Of Cards (starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright). Notorious for filming multiple takes to find the best organic and natural scene for every film, Fincher is a relentless perfectionist. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

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