Nick Dunne gets a call at work from a neighbour to say that his front door is open. Going home he finds his cat and some smashed furniture in the lounge and can't find his wife. First the police and then the media take unusual interest in the case and in Nick.
What is ostensibly a murder mystery story turns out to also be a dissection of a marriage and of the expectation that husbands and wives have of each other. Liberal flashbacks fill in how Nick and Amy met and how their marriage developed.
While the police and Nick peel back the top layers of both mysteries it feels like the script writer (and novelist), Gillian Flynn, got tired of how slowly they were doing it and starts to peel back some layers herself. Showing us what really happened.
There are a number of good twists in the story, and while you do feel like the writer is leading you around, Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike make Nick and Amy's relationship and actions feel plausible.
Once Nick figures out what has happened to Amy he sets out the fight the media representation of himself. At this point I think Flynn got lazy, the way crime writers do when they give us super resourceful villains. The final 20 minutes wraps things up too quick, too neatly and too over-the-top to be credible.
Not everyone will like Gone Girl, it is certainly not "life affirming" with its negative view of relationships and of the role of women in relationships. But if you want a film to make you think and one that takes a slightly different view on women than the normal Hollywood stereotype then give Gone Girl a try.
Ian's rating 3.5/5 Anne's rating 2.5/5