Plot: When his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike) goes missing under mysterious circumstances, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) falls under suspicion. To prove his innocence, he must first discover what has happened to his wife.
But things aren’t as straight forward as a missing person’s case. Or a murder case. Secrets from their not-so-distant past rear up again and Nick discovers there is far more to his wife than he had ever realised. Or, indeed, than he ever gave her credit for. Now he must face the media and the public to prove he is not the bad guy in this tale.
Quote: `Everyone knows complicated is a code word for bitch.`
Opinion: I had no expectations for the plot of the film. I haven’t yet read the book – that is coming shortly. But due to the credit it had been given at its release, I wanted to watch it. The only true conclusion I can come to is this film is weird. The plot is twisted and bizarre and there is no telling what is about to happen next.
Not having read the book meant the twists took me by surprise. However, while I can see it working as a narration style for the book, I was unsure of it for the film. The beginning makes sense: man accused of wife’s murder and her scenes showing he might not be the man he claims to be. But as the film develops, you spend so long trying to figure out the plot, it detracts from the visual aspects of the film.
However, plot aside, the film has many merits. The acting excels in manipulating your emotions for the characters. It is no surprise that Pike was nominated for best actress for more than one award. She switches between the different sides of Amy effortlessly. Without that fluency, the character would not have been convincing and the whole film would have been considerably undermined. Pike was the right choice in the role of Amy. Affleck is strong in his portrayal of a conflicted, flawed and confused husband. All the characters appear in-depth, rounded and realistically portrayed in a very unrealistic scenario. Kudos to the casting team.
It is not a film I would watch again in a hurry, mainly because it loses the impact once the twists are known. The running length also puts me off. It is a film that needs to be digested, especially if you came to it without reading the book. Having spoken to those who have read the book, it stays true to the twisted plot and includes a great deal of detail present in the book. The fact Gillian Flynn wrote both the screenplay and the novel clearly has something to do with this close adaptation. Considering the complexity of the plot, details being missed would have just led to confusion.
While I might not go running back, I’m honestly glad to have seen the film. I would recommend it, especially if you have read the book.