Upon finishing reading Gone Girl, I immediately rented the movie.
If you haven’t read the book or watched the movie, then you might want to enjoy the trailer and skip the rest of this. I’m trying not to spoil it for you, but I can’t make any promises…
I imagined Ben Afflect and Rosamund Pike as Nick and Amy before I even picked up the book, thanks to all the trailers before the movie came out. I vaguely remember there being some criticism for the casting choices, but this was not a stretch for me.
Affleck has that all-American dreamboat quality that Ms. Flynn describes. Him as a sociopath was not that hard to imagine given some of his other acting roles; however, I don’t feel that he portrayed the passion and the torment clearly evident in the book. This is probably because we lost a lot of his perspective in the movie version; the “he said” parts of the book are as vivid as the “she said.”
Pike is stunningly beautiful; she is perfect to play the mercurial Amy. From the opening credits (obviously from the end of the book) I could see the crazy in her gorgeous eyes. She does an “ice princess” very well, and that cold stare is easily interpretable as sociopathic. The way in which Pike grasps the hammer or the wine bottle sends chills down my spine.
I enjoy Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry, but they were a stretch for me as Desi Collings and Tanner Bolt, respectively. Harris does stalker well (I still remember that freaky episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent), but I imagined Collings’ character as bigger, more Elvis-like for some reason. Perry is always charming and likable, but lacked the cut-throat edge that Ms. Flynn gave him.
Margo Dunne was actually my favorite character from the novel; Carrie Coon did not disappoint, but she did not wow me either. She had the profanity and attitude down, but the film version did not adequately show the deep connection Go had with her twin brother.
I would have liked to see more of Carthage and Hannibal, as while I was reading, I could easily picture the small-town touristy-trap atmosphere. I guess this was something that they had to sacrifice when turning a huge novel into a feature length film.
I recognize that there are many, many limitations when it comes to transferring a vibrant novel to screen. Relationships are not as sharp, conversations are spit instead of sung (or vice versa), and characters don’t appear as real as on the page. But overall, this was well done.
My brother was right, though, when he told me that if I hadn’t read the book first, I probably would’ve liked the movie better.