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You See What You Want To See – Gone Girl Film Review

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Gone girl movie poster

A shot of Rosamund Pike’s head and a voice-over from Ben Affleck describing how he wants to smash it in. And so begins Gone Girl

Adapted from the best selling novel by Gillian Flynn, who is also the screenwriter of the film, the basic plot revolves around Amy Dunne (Pike) going missing and the efforts to find her. The film’s first act sets up the movie that we’ve seen in the trailers: is Amy Dunne dead? Did Ben Affleck kill her? Did Neil Patrick Harris kill her? The answers to these questions completely overhaul the film into something more like a revenge story, of the kind which might populate a Tarantino film. (I’m trying my best to not spoil the story but it is worth mentioning.)

In truth the film is an exploration of cinema itself, and what we do or do not see. We are not shown some of the more outlandish scenes of violence that Amy talks about, so we doubt if they ever happened. We are completely shrouded in a mystery that is unclear in terms of legitimate motivation and, even at the very end of the film, the lines between protagonist and antagonist are blurred. The ambiguous ending of the film merely mirrors the ambiguity of the entire film generally. We cannot be sure of anything.

Of course, it is a David Fincher film, so his casting is impeccable, the acting is great and his use of the camera is always interesting to watch, however, this film does not have typically beautiful shots that leave you salivating as they would in another film. But I believe this works in highlighting the story and the script, both of which are sharp and brutal.

I think we’ve established that I don’t go to see films that I am not excited and willing to watch, but Gone Girl, more than most, may just be the cinematic highlight of my entire year. I genuinely adored this film, to the point where I cannot find much fault. This movie is about perception, and seeing what you want to see, so without meaning to sound corny – you’ll want to see this film.

Sojourner McKenzie is starting her second year of an English and Film degree and spends most of her time ranting at no-one in particular about everything. Follow her on Twitter @runsojrun

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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