The basic premise is as old as the movies.
An abduction leads to a media-circus.
Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) comes home one day to find his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) missing. The ensuing search and all the subsequent events, which shall not be revealed here, draw the viewer closer and closer into a complex world of everyday suburban reality and everyday suburban horror.
As if it needed to be pointed out, this balance of reality and horror, or horrendous reality, is the domain of Mr. Fincher. In his clear-cut no-nonsense style he has fashioned a powerful mystery-thriller that lands somewhere between Hitchcock, Lynch, Bergman and Chabrol. Although vastly different directors, they have shared an interest in dissecting reality and human nature.
Profiting from two exceptional lead actors (doubts about Mr. Affleck's acting abilities will hopefully be dispelled), it is Ms. Pike, who reveals herself as an immensely versatile and unpredictable force in this movie. Over more than ten years Ms. Pike has played big parts in small movies, or small parts in big movies (such as Pride & Prejudice", Wrath of the Titans" or Jack Reacher"). Under the guise of Mr. Fincher she excels in every aspect and if any contenders for awards are to be named so early in the season, hers would be one of the first names (next to the outstanding cast of Richard Linklaters Boyhood") to be written down.
Visually stunning as one would expect from Fincher, with an immersive soundtrack by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross and an editing rhythm that cuts like a knife through the tissue of the story and its characters, Gone Girl" leaves no doubt about its craft and the deceptive nature of its source novel by Gillian Flynn. The author adapted her book into a tightly wound screenplay, that adds fuel to an already burning analysis of modern marriage and human frailty.
The themes are familiar to Fincher, but he assembles them in an expertly fashion. And we are left wondering, amidst the suspense, about many of the so called estimable American values of the 20th century, that have now come crashing down under the weight of an economic, political and spiritual crisis.