Gone, Girl by Gillian Flynn
This post will contain spoilers for the book and the movie. I generally do not do big spoilers, but the novel and the movie relies heavily on twists.
Overall, while the book and movie were not perfect in terms of storytelling, they were still engaging and interesting. I think there is a lot of commentary on the media and bad romantic relationships in general. I would not necessarily recommend either of them to everyone though I think lots of people would enjoy it or find it interesting.
Before reading the book, I did not know the big twists or plots. However, I did know that Amy was evil and akin to the Glenn Close character from Fatal Attraction. Secondly, I knew of most of the actors playing the major role. As a result, I find it easy to imagine Ben Affleck being Nick. Great casting there.
I was a bit confused reading the early parts of the book having that information about Amy. However, the diary entries were indeed manipulative, strange, and I must admit, very affected. There were times that the author as Amy played the trick well. I did feel for that fictional Amy, but I also got the sense how deranged and selfish the real Amy was. She could not hide it completely.
Reading the book was at times very depressing. It was almost nihilistic. There are very few likeable characters because the two protagonists narrate the story. One of them is a psychopath and thus has a very bad view of the world. As for Nick, he’s not a great guy either. He is redeemed by his love for his sister Go but that’s about it. The other supporting characters are not developed enough for you to really know them. This not an ensemble novel. Having said that, it was easy to root for Nick once you realized how crazy Amy was and how messed up the situation is. Not to say I want to be friends with the guy
The ending was dissatisfying. I stayed up to 1AM to read it. Having said that, I don’t know how it could have ended on a good note. Bleak ending.
Read January 17-22, 2016 on Kindle.
As I said, Ben Affleck has the face and demeanor for this role. I use to not mind Affleck as much, but in the last few years, he’s become really good at playing douchebags.
The filming was classic David Fincher style both in looks and story line. I thought Flynn did a good job with the screenplay, but the book had a lot more details. Casting was good overall. I’ve liked Rosamund Pike for a long time. While I had issues with the dubbing and her accent, but her physicality fit the part. I really enjoyed Carrie Coon as Go and Kim Dickens as Boney more. Neil Patrick Harris’s Desi was creepy, but somehow, the creepiness made his sexual attraction to Amy less believable.
As a movie, it was easier to poke through the plot holes though. A lot more things had to be handwaved when you see it in a movie. For example, I realized a lot of holes in Amy’s final plan.
The ending was anti-Hollywood and faithful to the book. It somehow made things more disgusting to see how glossy and fake Nick and Amy were. The movie is not essential viewing after the book, but I think the acting makes it worthwhile.
Watched January 22, 2016.