News By/Courtesy: Athul Joseph | 26 Jun 2020 20:43pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A movie of many myths
  • The story shifts through several paradigms
  • At its core, Gone Girl is about a marriage and a vile and toxic one at that

Gone Girl is a tale of myths in many ways. It's a film about how we create and handle our narratives and the narratives of those around us. The facts are malleable, the truth is subjective. All that occurs exists as a background to be woven into a tale of some kind. Inevitably, the stories are different, the narratives clash. Nick Dunne 's story of the disappearance of his wife differs from that of the events presented in his diary; the narrative that the public and the press are constructing is quite distinct from that of those within the story. Gone Girl plays with this notion, plays with the audience. It's starting as a very familiar and almost cliché story. Nick Dunne had been stuck in a loveless marriage. His wife is gone. People begin to suspect that Dunne may have had something to do with the disappearance. Also, the viewer doesn't know exactly what to do with Nick when the facts pile up against him. The more we look, the more faults begin to surface, the more evidence seems to accumulate.

And then the story is shifting. Gone Girl takes the rug from beneath the viewer, becoming something completely new and almost unreal. It's dazzling, brilliant, insane, ambitious, and ingenious. Gone Girl is a startlingly confident twisty film that plays a contagious macabre glee with the audience. The idea of stories is recurring throughout Gone Girl. Nick and Amy Dunne are both authors. Amy wrote columns for men's magazines, while Nick Dunne wrote for men's magazines. In both cases, they are authors who strive to embellish and exploit real life, to offer readers an idealized depiction of life itself – promising to give a story a happy ending or to place a structure on something as messy as day-to-day living. If both are made obsolete during the crisis, they remain, authors – even as they continue to compose for each other. Nick casts Amy as a shrewd and controlling wife; at one point, he reflects that she is trying to "stage-manage" him. On the other hand, Amy is trying to re-write Nick's own life, to make him a better person, to change who he is. In both cases, Nick and Amy Dunne are forcing their interpretation of fact. But about an hour into the film, everything changes. It's not just a main storyline that reveals that shifts the essence of the film – it's a very simple shift in tone and style. Gone Girl begins as a story of one kind, before moving to another type of film. The threads – thematic and plot – carry on, but the emphasis changes. Gone Girl never ceases to be a tale of an unhappy marriage under pressure, just a transition from Kramer to Kramer to the War of the Roses. To be fair, there is a sense that this is more of a form of exercise for Fincher. Gone Girl is a very clever narrative experiment, a fine showcase for the talent and skill of the director. In this respect, Fincher's "lighter" films like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo or The Game are more like a more ambitious and competent companion piece, rather than his more weighty or substantive work. Gone Girl is playful and well-constructed, but her nature as a story – coupled with Fincher 's clinical style – makes her feel a little clinical in places. Gone Girl is a story about a lot of stories. Everyone in the film has their own story, their attempt to explain and impose order on the world around them. There is the art of handling and preserving these myths, of seeking to shape their narratives. It's a very smart, very wry, very surreal viewing experience, and one of the films of the year so far.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT INTEND TO HURT THE SENTIMENTS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY, SECT, OR RELIGION ETCETERA. THIS ARTICLE IS BASED PURELY ON THE AUTHOR'S PERSONAL VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN THE EXERCISE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT GUARANTEED UNDER ARTICLE 19(1)(A) AND OTHER RELATED LAWS BEING FORCE IN INDIA, FOR THE TIME BEING. 

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 26 Jun 2020 21:53pm IST


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