Synopsis: Nick and Amy Dunne’s marriage changes forever when Amy goes missing on the morning of their 5th wedding anniversary.

In the first scene of “Gone Girl”, Nick Dunne(Ben Affleck) is stroking the back of wife Amy’s(Rosamund Pike) head. He says that he wants to crack open her skull ad unspool her brains. He’s wondering about the state of his marriage. He wants to know what she’s thinking. Cute, right? Actually, it’s the opposite of that. It’s downright creepy. So begins the film…

The movie begins on the morning of Nick and Amy’s wedding anniversary. He’d rather spend it with his twin sister Margo(Carrie Coon) than with Amy. We learn almost immediately than the Dunnes don’t have a happy marriage. He’s actually dreading his fifth anniversary with Amy, partly because he didn’t buy a gift. Things take a turn for worse when he returns home and finds out that his wife is missing. From the start, he’s the number-one suspect in her disappearance. First by the police, including Detective Boney (Kim Dickens) and Officer Gilspin (Patrick Fugit). And soon after by the media. Nick doesn’t exactly behave like a man who’s grieving. As the movie goes on, we learn less-than-savory facts about Nick. He’s been cheating on Amy for the past year-and-a-half. He’s lazy, inconsiderate, unambitious, a liar. The evidence, including Amy’s diary seem to point to Nick’s guilt. Even his twin sister starts to believe he did it. But did he?

Then the story spins right on its head during the second half. Neither Nick or Amy are really good. But which one is barely okay, and which one is evil? The answer may surprise you. Unless you’ve read the book.

A movie like this can’t possibly work without stellar performances. Ben Affleck did a great job playing Nick. You know that he’s done some not-so-good things, but you can’t help but root for him. You know he should be punished for his wrongdoings, but part of you thinks “Go a little easy on him, will you?” However, the true star of “Gone Girl” is Rosamund Pike. Her Amy is one of the most complex and interesting characters since Sharon Stone on “Basic Instinct”. That Oscar nod was well-deserved. The supporting characters were good overall. Neil Patrick Harris’ Desi was spine-chilling creepy. Carrie Coon was excellent and funny as the movie’s voice of reason twin, Margo. I hope to see more of her in the future. And Tyler Perry was great as Nick’s attorney, Tanner Bolt. It was nice to see him in a non-Madea role for a change.

David Fincher is well-known for directing movies about dark, twisted characters and/or subjects. So he’s the perfect person to direct this twisted tale about marriage. Marriage can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the couple. In this case, it’s a very bad thing. It’s based on lies, deception, manipulations and abuse. And yet, you’re dying to see what happens to this messed-up couple. Good work, David.

I liked how they used the media as a character on the top of everything else. It was just as manipulative as the main characters.

This is not a good date movie. But it is an interesting character study, and a horror movie. You’ll either love or hate the ending. But by the end, you’re left with an uneasy feeling. Don’t watch alone.

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