I was surprised with how Gone Girl was received when it first came out. People loved it pretty much universally, and yet everyone agreed that the main characters were pretty much the worst people. This wasn’t a sentiment usually geared toward people like the Kardashians, where you can find them outrageous but still watch their show for entertainment. People across all genders pretty much agreed that most of the characters in this movie were pieces of garbage.
But they were sexy and compelling pieces of garbage. Like the Fitzgeralds. I had to see what was up.
The gist: It starts off as a basic crime story. A young wife vanishes from her home on her anniversary, and her husband Nick is viewed with some suspicion. The young woman’s name is Amy. She was blonde, pretty and the apple of her parents’ eyes. She was even the inspiration for a children’s book series. Needless to say, the tabloids are all over this.
The suspicion against Nick only grows with time, including the revelation that he was cheating on Amy (cool your jets, this is the least offensive spoiler in the film). Detectives find Amy’s diary and learn that Nick emotionally isolated himself, moved Amy out to the South without asking her, and is basically a jerk. Amy loves Nick, but suspects he feel threatened by her giant trust fund when he can’t find a job himself. She gave up everything to follow him. But were his insecurities too strong? Did he resent her enough to kill her?
What I “learned”: We truly lose something when we don’t ever portray women as evil in movies. Not even “evil,” but as characters capable of seriously harming others. Why must there always be some hesitation, some innate goodness that holds women back from harming those that have harmed them?
Really hard to avoid spoilers here, but suffice it to say that Amy is no Princess Peach. She’s dedicated to what she wants, and has been pushed from all directions. She’s also brilliant, comparable to the resourceful Erin from You’re Next. She does incredibly vicious things to escape the slow death she feels within her marriage. She is pure “evil” in the movie archetype sense. But she is also informed as a character, making her a rare treat to behold.
See this movie if you like: A thoroughly modern crime movie. This movie takes on a dysfunctional relationship without taking a side, and throws crime and murder into the mix without making it feel contrived. The stereotypes of doting husband and innocent victim are thrown into question, and we are left wondering why we (Americans in particular, but really anyone who follows tabloid crime news) assume certain things about men and women. It’s just what we needed.
Avoid this movie if: You can’t stand blood or violence against women. Everyone has their own hangups; obey yours and avoid this one if you’re a fainter.
New Films Watched: 87
Films Re-Watched: 5
Total Number of Films: 92
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