Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gone Girl: Not My Type of Beer (Do Not Believe The Hype)

Warning: serious spoiler alerts!

I usually give a movie about 10-15, sometimes 20 minutes to decide if I like it. If the story doesn't grip me, or seem promising by then, I will be likely turning it off. After all, I do not like wasting my time. Of course, in theaters, it is a slightly different story. If I do encounter a bad movie, I have to stay for the simple reason that I paid for the experience and I do not like wasting my money. After all, I can at least write a blog post about it.

Gone Girl was one of those movies that I would have turned off if I had seen it on TV at home. But I was in a theater. And so I watched the whole movie. All of it. It was long. Precisely 149 minutes long. That is 2 hours and 29 minutes.

Initially, when I decided to go and see Gone Girl, I was excited. I mean why wouldn't I be. The movie had gotten just as much buzz as the book did (which I hadn't read) and everyone I know who had seen the movie praised it to the sky and back. But the excitement didn't last long.

Let me explain.

So, the movie starts with this love story developing between Ben Affleck's and Rosamund Pike's characters (Nick and Amy). They meet for the first time; he takes her for a walk and shows her an incredible sugar dust storm–how romantic; then he kisses her and puts two fingers on his chin as a token for his dedication to her or something like that. Boom. They end up moving in together; get married and then move from the city into a small town; nothing extraordinary so far

Next, their marriage seems to deteriorate. He looses his job which takes a toll on their relationship because of financial issues. The usual marital problems arise. Next, he is gone all the time. She doesn't get the attention she wants. Yawn

Now the movie begins when the plot twist we all know about comes up: On their fifth wedding anniversary, she disappears.

He has no idea where she went. So the search begins. The police suspect him after they find a speck of blood in their kitchen, but he of course if just as clueless as to her whereabouts. Witty lines are being exchanged between him and the suspicious female detective. This goes on for a while. The people in his neighborhood turns against him thanks in part to negative media coverage, and the only person who ends up standing by his side is his twin sister. (We watch this for what feels like an hour.)

Then, the movie, probably half way through, gets another turning point: Amy appears again. She is not dead! She has not been murdered by her husband. Surprise! We find out that she has framed her husband for her murder, and that she is on her way to a motel to then, in a few days, kill herself. Pretty psycho if you ask me. Now the story could be going somewhere.

I'm thinking, she must have a good reason for this, and I am eager to find out.

We follow Amy talk about her plan. How she managed to make the kitchen look like a crime scene; how she gets away unseen etc. etc. 

OK, now, lets wait for her reasoning–the chance to make this story great.

There it is. She saw him cheating on her with a woman half her age. Oh, he cheated. I'm disappointed again. Another cliché. But wait, he did not just cheat on her–it is more fucked up than that! Guess what? The moment she discovers another woman in her husbands arms, he kisses the woman and puts his two fingers on his chin in the same manner he did to her when they first met. Say what?! Nah uh!? He did not do that, did he! Yes. He did. How fu... I am being ironic here. 

That is it. That is the explanation we get: She snapped after he did the two finger thing. She plotted this whole murder. She wanted him to rot in jail for the rest of his life. She would even kill herself to execute her plan.

Oh, but then she realizes she doesn't want to kill herself, because why should she? She deserves a good life. And so she contacts an ex who believes everything she says, which is, Nick was trying to kill her and she ran away.

So this is where Gillian Flynn looses me for good. This whole time, the story is mediocre. And the hopes I have for the story to really take off and become something good is being crushed when we find out her reasoning which is just another disappointment after the other disappointments. From the point you realize the wife has plotted everything because he cheated on her–and did the fingers on his lips thing–it stays just cheesy. 

Now we get to see how crazy this character, Amy, really is. She doesn't just want to see her husband in jail, she by the way, had also framed an ex for rape before, and she uses that trick again with the other crazy ex of hers before she ends up killing him.

So... this woman has not become crazy when her husband cheated on her, or their relationship had failed. Nope, this woman was crazy to begin with.

Then, after successfully killing the ex who took her in because he believes her husband is evil, Amy returns to her town because she decides to like her husband again–since he gave TV interviews and he seemed to finally understand how a decent husband should treat her. Now he seems more likable to her. 

When she returns, Nick is not happy and hopes the world will find out what she had done to him. But, he quickly realizes no one will believe him and so he ends up staying with his phsycho-wife, who is also pregnant. He has no choice.

Why? Maybe because no one would believe him. And if he would leave her, he would pretty much be the worst person on the planet–after everything his wife had to go through–being kidnapped by her ex, who raped her, whom she killed in defense. Right, because no one will believe him, he doesn't leave!

So, in short, this movie is about a crazy lady who goes as far as framing ex's for rape. Murder. And then forces her husband to stay with her although she despises him. 

Despite the fact that the actors did OK. Despite the fact that David Fincher shot the movie, despite the fact that Gillian Flynn got to write the screenplay adaptation, this movie sucked, because the story sucked. 

Nothing about this story was believable. Nothing about this story was great. Nothing about this story was relatable. Nothing about this story was interesting enough to suck me in.

I have no clue why everybody loves it so much. Maybe after all, there is a difference between what books can do and movies often fail to do, which is really explain the depth of the characters and their complex motives. In the movie, it was all too flat for me.

This was just not my cup of tea, or as they say in Germany: this was not my type of beer.

Here is some of the incredibly bad dialogue at the end of the movie: