By Kayla Randall
What have we done to each other?
The opening lines of the box office hit, Gone Girl, begs this question of couples, struggling marriages, any relationship we might face in our day-to-day lives. What have we done to each other? A foreshadowing to what this cinematic wonder holds for its viewers. What have Nick and Amy Dunne done to each other, and how did they let this happen?
The story that unfolds in the next 149 minutes has become a masterpiece for the new age, a drama surrounding a husband who has or hasn’t committed a devious crime, and a wife who’s going to make sure he’s punished as she sees fit. The film’s screenplay was written by Gillian Flynn, author of the novel we see unfold onscreen. Directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl keeps you on the edge of your seat until the credits roll.
On the day of their five-year wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne – played by Hollywood-favourite Ben Affleck – returns to his home in Missouri to find that his wife is missing. Doing what any other confused and probably slightly terrified husband would do, Nick calls the police. They bring him in for questioning after finding a few problematic pieces of evidence around the house. We learn that Nick and Amy Dunne have an interesting relationship for a couple that’s been together five years – Nick seems to know next to nothing about Amy’s day-to-day life.
As the mystery becomes more complicated, we are treated to flashbacks to earlier moments in Nick and Amy’s relationship. The first night they meet – full of witty banter, a magical first kiss in a sugar storm, and a sneak peak at what happened between the sheets. The night Nick proposes to Amy, amid the flash and glamour of a release party for Amy’s mother’s new book, Amazing Amy Gets Married. We learn that Amy’s parents essentially wrote a better version of their daughter’s life and published it over the years. The plot thickens.
Staying true to any good crime-fiction movie, Amy has left a series of clues for her husband – a scavenger hunt of sorts that she puts together for their anniversary every year. As the police begin to uncover these clues, all signs start pointing to Nick Dunne as his wife’s killer. But is Amy Dunne really dead?
A few more clues from the past, read aloud by Amy herself as entries from her diaries over the years, and we get a bit more insight into the Dunnes’ relationship. Nick Dunne in real life seems to be a different person compared to the Nick Dunne we see in Amy’s flashbacks. While their marriage is far from picturesque (life never is, even in some movies), Nick and Amy are the perfect pair. Nick loses his job and they move from New York City to Missouri after his mother falls ill.
In the present, however, we learn that Amy Dunne has much more to her than the gorgeous, blonde, trust-fund baby she’s initially presented to be. She’s brilliant, conniving, and exactly the woman Nick married.
Rosamund Pike, who plays Amy, delivers one of the most haunting performances of her career, the perfect Amy Dunne, the villainess you want to win. You want her to get away with it. She makes your hate Nick Dunne with every fibre of your being before the first 60 minutes are over.
Without giving too much away, the final scenes of Gone Girl will leave you begging for the answer to another, bigger question:
How did we end up here?
Photo Credit: Jason Nelson
Kayla Randall is a 20-year-old aspiring novelist with a passion for coffee, books, and driving around her hometown. Eldest of five siblings, she often misses home in Mississauga, but is still having the time of her life living in Ottawa and trying to make her mark in the literary world.