Gone Girl (2014) – Movie Diary

Hell Hath No Fury Than A Woman Scorned

What does this picture say to you? (Source: Internet)


Honestly, when was the last time Ben Affleck acted in something that you really enjoyed? There was Armageddon 1998, Pearl Harbor 2001 and He’s Just Not That Into You 2009. The rest were either not impactful enought, or just plain boring; like Daredevil 2003. Or yes, probably I missed the others at Malaysian theatres. 

*Note: Excuse me for bursting your Harlequin romance bubbles, oh big fans of Ben Affleck, but you have to admit, he is constantly overshadowed by his more popular and successful BFF, Matt Damon

Rosamund Pike, however, although I didn’t watch her during her earlier rise in James Bond 007’s ‘Die Another Day’ in 2002 with the forever sexxxayyy Pierce Brosnan; I really liked her in ‘Surrogates’ 2009 with Bruce Willis; Johnny English Reborn 2011 with Rowan Atkinson of Mr. Bean fame; ‘Wrath of the Titans’ 2012 with Sam Worthington and ‘Jack Reacher’ with Tom Cruise, also in 2012. There is something about these English roses of the movie industry that you can’t explain; their on-screen charms and charisma that left you continuously adoring them whether they play the good girls or the bad girls. 

The Official Trailer of ‘Gone Girl’



I read great reviews on the movie, ‘Gone Girl‘ which brought Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike together. And reading reviews was not enough, I just had to read the whole story on Wikipedia. Yes, I’m a certified Wiki-addict/Party Pooper of the Movie Spoilers, and I’m proud of it.

Knowing that Oliver is happily celebrating Christmas at the moment with his family in Sarawak, I was without a movie partner-in-crime for a while until he comes back usually within the first week of January. A Whatsapp message from a friend, whom I fondly nickname ‘Beckham‘ who works for Capital TV (Channel 420 HyppTV) wanting to hang out was like a blessing on Sunday morning. So, we both agreed to have a late lunch and watch ‘Gone Girl‘ at GSC 1Utama.


What a great movie to watch to end my 2014! (Source: New Regency Pictures)


The movie began with Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) who goes to see his twin sister, Margo (Carrie Coon) at a local bar they own, well, it’s called The Bar. Nick discusses with Margo how he has a hard time looking for the 5th wedding anniversary present for Amy Elliot-Dunne (Rosamund Pike). Apparently, this year’s theme is ‘wood’. 

This is an excerpt I found on IMBd.com, joking about the ‘wood’ theme:

Margo: So, what are you going to give her?

Nick: I don’t know, there’s nothing good for wood.


Margo: I know what you can do. You go home and f**k her brains out. Then you take your p*n*s and smack her in the fact with it, and you say, “There’s some wood, b***h!”

Carrie Coon played Margo Dunne so effortlessly (Source: Internet)

Later, he returns home to see signs of break-in and Amy goes missing. He reports to the police and meet Det. Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and Officer James Gilpin (Patrick Fugit). You’ll see what a sharp character Det. Boney is, she seems to notice tiny little details that Nick didn’t before. For example, the iron is left on with a dress still on the ironing board and an extremely tiny blood stain on the kitchen cabinet. 

The story goes back and forth throughout their relationship, 2 years of dating and 5 years of marriage. Nick and Amy first met a party in New York with Nick approaching her and playfully suggested who she should be dating. Intrigued, Amy and Nick quizzed each other; which I guess became the foundation of their annual Wedding Anniversary Treasure Hunt. It is revealed how Nick and Amy had ‘cotton’ before, exchanging gifts of cotton bed sheet at a Chinese restaurant. I thought it was cute how they seem to love and adore each other.


Amy is happy upon meeting Nick for the first time (Source: Internet)


Both Nick and Amy are writers based in New York. Amy’s parents; also writers made a fortune by writing a series of children books titled ‘Amazing Amy‘; supposedly inspired by their own Amazing Amy. However you’ll see that during one event, it seems that Amy feels inadequate compared to Amazing Amy, by stating that Amazing Amy is always one step ahead of her. Amy also reveals to Nick how Amazing Amy is a depiction of what Amy might’ve become if she didn’t stop or fail at everything that she does. Take, music lessons for example. When Amazing Amy plays cello, the real Amy stopped half-way. When Amazing Amy excels at sports, the real Amy gets cut off from varsity. The same night, Nick, always the charmer, pretends to interview Amy and asks her to marry him. 


The night Nick proposes to Amy, their
 chemistry is amaaaazing (Source: Internet)


Fast-forward, their marriage seems to disintegrate over time. What may seem to us at the beginning as something perfect, a match made in heaven, turns sour. In Amy’s diary as written here in The Miss Paris Diaries, she says, one recession and two writers out of work have turned the whole marriage upside down. At first, it seems like they agree to go through it together, because ‘the rest is just background’. Then, problems start arising between Nick and Amy. Out of depression, Nick seems to have become a total slacker who plays video game all the time. 

And this movie definitely has its funny moments too in the midst of tension. Thank you, IMDb.com!

Amy: What’s the laptop for?

Nick: Laptopping!

Later, Amy reveals to Nick that she decides to give a major chunk of her trust fund to her parents as their publishers let them go as well. Nick appears to be furious since Amy makes the decision without discussing it first with him, further straining their relationship. Then, when Nick’s mother suffered from breast cancer stage 4, Amy writes in her diary how she feels unwelcome having to move to North Carthage, Missouri; Nick’s hometown. 


Amy seems depressed like a fish out of water when she moves
 from fabulous New York to Missouri (Source: Internet)


A nationwide search is conducted to find Amy. In fact, fans of Amazing Amy offer themselves to help with the search. Det. Boney and Officer Gilpin keep searching for evidence in Nick’s house and find questionable items, such as credit card statements of extravagant purchase although the purchased items are not found and a medical report indicating that Amy is pregnant. At the same time, Nick is becoming a target of Ellen Abbot (Missi Pyle), a TV personality who openly berate him as a sociopath and potential murderer. 


The smug smile of a murderer? (Source: Internet)


Later, we also find out that Nick has a 20-something year old mistress who was formerly his student at a college, Andie Fitzgerald (Emily Ratajkowski) for over a year. When she comes to Margo’s house one night to meet Nick, they end up having sex. As Andie leaves the house, it turns out that Margo is already awake and watching them. She expresses her anger towards Nick for putting himself into a much higher jeopardy. Finally, Nick confesses how he has always wanted to leave Amy for good. 

As Nick finds clues left by Amy, he finally realizes that Amy stages the whole thing to get him accused of her murder. As he shares it with Margo, they both seek legal advice from Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry), an attorney who is famous for representing husbands accused of murder. 


A good lawyer can keep you off the gallows (Source: Internet)


At the same time, Amy’s real plan is revealed from the very beginning to the carefully planned and executed scheme. From the bored stay-at-home wife who is angered over her husband’s changed behaviour, no longer dotting her as the prized wife, she sees herself as already dead. Blaming Nick, she starts planting various evidence from the purchase, to befriending somewhat a dim-witted neighbour, Noelle Hawthorne (Casey Wilson) and her family; and finally the staged ‘murder’. 

It was amazing how you see murderers, both amateur and professional in the CSI Franchise tend to leave out some evidences in the least expected places; Amy carefully planted them with logical explanation just enough for the police to find them and deduce a hypothesis. As she says it, it needs DISCIPLINE


Taking her own sweet time to become the ultimate bitter wife (Source: Internet)



We’ve seen how other movies portray people faking journal entries to confuse the authorities, but quite honestly, not like this. According to Amy, in order to be believable, she wrote at least 300 entries about her life with Nick; starting with their extremely happy moments together and later, facing problems. Then, she writes about Nick’s made-up aggressive behaviour up to the extent that he hits her when she mentions about wanting to have a baby together. 


Oh, remember the blood stain on the kitchen cabinet? Well, yes, it was blood and it WAS Amy’s blood. I thought, Amy deserves an Academy award for playing the victim here! She actually injures herself, gathers the blood and splashes it all over the kitchen; marks her hand print on the floor and cleans it back up ‘just the way Nick would’ve done it‘. 

Amy changes her appearances and hides in a secluded area, pretending to be a battered wife named Nancy. During her stay away from her real world, she fantasizes of killing herself one too many times; which she marks in her calendar. She imagines filling her pockets with stones and jump into the water. She even tries to hit her head with a hammer. 


Sort of reminds me of Helena Bonham-Carter in ‘Dark Shadows’ (Source: Internet)


Amy reluctantly befriends Jeff (Boyd Holbrook) and Greta (Lola Kirke) while hiding. During a miniature golf game, she drops her stack of money which attracts those two. Later, she is attacked and robbed by the couple. Out of desperation, she calls her ex-boyfriend, Desi Collings (Neil Patrick Harris) and lies to him, saying that she runs away from Nick’s abuse. 

During this period, Amy sees Andie confessing at a press conference to being Nick’s mistress, just before Nick appeared for a special interview with Sharon Schreiber (Sela Ward); an exclusive which appeared a day after. Amy wants to return to Nick after watching him begging for forgiveness for being an adulterer. She seduces Desi and kills him while having sex. 

She plants yet another set of fake evidences around Desi’s lake house, making it look like he kidnapped and raped her. I have to tell you, the scene where she does the Amazingly Psychotic Amy stuff with the surveillance cameras was brilliant! And how she stages her rape! Wow! Should I share how she ‘poked’ herself with a champagne bottle to convince her medical exams later? Too gory? Okay, then I won’t share that, haha!

She comes back to Nick, covered in blood and hugs Nick. When Nick whispers, “You. F**king. B***h!“, that was priceless and being the drama queen that Amy has been throughout the movie, she faints. 

Later at the hospital, during interrogation by the FBI and police, she plays victim again. Of course, at this point, Nick, Margo, Det. Boney and Tanner Bolt know the real Amy, they just can’t prove it. In fact, upon returning home together, Nick tells Amy that he plans to leave her and they argue. Finally, Nick can’t take it anymore and slams Amy’s body to the wall. Here’s what I got from IMDb.com:

Nick Dunne: You f**king c**t!

Amy Dunne: I’m the c**t you married. The only time you liked yourself was when you were trying to be someone this c**t might like. I’m not a quitter, I’m that c**t. I killed for you; who else can say that? You think you’d be happy with a nice Midwestern girl? No way, baby! I’m it.

Nick Dunne: F**k. You’re delusional. I mean, you’re insane, why would you even want this? Yes, I loved you and then all we did was resent each other, try to control each other. We caused each other pain.

Amy Dunne: That’s marriage.



Now, Nick really wishes Amy is Gone Girl (Source: Internet)

In the end, Amy impregnates herself with Nick’s semen from the fertility clinic and uses it as a leverage to keep Nick by her side. The movie ends with the couple being interviewed on TV and announcing they’re going to become parents.


Dare you say no to this face? (Source: Internet)


Nick Dunne: When I think of my wife, I always think of the back of her head. I picture cracking her lovely skull, unspooling her brain, trying to get answers. The primal questions of a marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?

Read the line above and imagine Rosamund Pike looking at you with a blank expression! Thank you, IMDb.com!

Phewwwww! What a movie! Although I’ve read about it on Wikipedia, but to actually watch it and enjoy every minute of it… phewwwww! Surprising as it may sound, Rosamund Pike’s Amy Elliot-Dunne is still my favourite character. I guess, Gillian Flynn really know her stuff. Instead of hating Amy for good, you tend to sympathize for her. When you know, she’s the real coo-coo in the movie, but you still think, Nick somewhat deserves it, haha! Okay, that’s probably the feminist side of me speaking, haha! 

Throughout the movie, Beckham and I kept whispering at each other, gasping and wincing in excitement. Sometimes we said, ‘Serves you right, Nick!’ and later we said, ‘Oh, my God, Amy is so evil!‘. 

We particularly felt pity towards Amy when she was attacked and robbed by Jeff and Greta. I actually told Beckham, ‘If it was me, I’d burn lock those two in one of those houses and burn them alive’. Haha, this is what we Malay would say, ‘Alang-alang menyeluk pekasam!’. I mean, she’s gone so far to accusing her husband of murder, an ex-boyfriend of rape, and bla bla bla. Well, getting rid of Jeff and Greta will be like doing the world a favour! Hahaha! 


Thank you for the movie treat, Beckham!


The scene-stealer was undeniably Rosamund Pike. From her charming character of a woman in love right to her conniving, delusional self that every woman hates and every man wants to kill. I’d say she’s one of those very versatile actors around. Even when she fakes a Southern accent during hiding. For my tone-deaf, Malaysian ears, it sounded alright!


Gone Girl Team (Source: Internet)



Again, I don’t hate her. I just can’t hate her. These English roses have that, you just can’t hate them! 

Here are some photos I grabbed from Gone Girl’s official Facebook, dont’t forget to like their page!




The make-belief ‘Amazing Amy’ has a website: www.findamazingamy.com 

Trivia

  • Gone Girl is a 2014 American thriller film directed by David Fincher and adapted from Gillian Flynn’s best-seller, ‘Gone Girl’. Gillian Flynn also writes the screenplay to ensure the quality of the film adaptation.
  • One of the film’s producers, Leslie Dixon, read the manuscript of the novel  and brought it to the attention of Reese Witherspoon in December 2011.
  • It stars Ben AffleckRosamund PikeNeil Patrick HarrisTyler Perry, and Carrie Coon.
  • Kim Dickens who played Det. Rhonda Boney was also in Hollow Man 2000; playing Sarah Kennedy. You might remember her as the girl who went to the lab to get blood bag for a transfusion and ended up splashing blood on the floor to track Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Cain/Hollow Man. 
  • While Det. Boney’s assistant, Officer James Gilpin who constantly pressures Det. Boney to arrest Nick Dunne is played by Patrick Fugit. I don’t blame you if you don’t recognize him. It’s pretty hard to imagine how he looks like underneath the heavy green scaly make-up. Yup, he played Ezra Von in Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant in 2009. 
  • Missi Pyle’s favourite character of all time is when she acted in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story 2004 as Fran Stalinovskovichdavidovitchsky and her theme song was ‘Lady in Red’ by Chris de Burgh
  • Boyd Holbrook who played Jeff, the asshole who mugs Amy in the movie appeared in the movie The Host in 2013, playing Kyle O’Shea, the asshole who wants to kill Saoirse Ronan’s character, Wanderer. So, I guess he likes playing assholes!
  • Gone Girl garnered four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Director for Fincher and Best Actress – Drama for Rosamund Pike.
  • The covers of some of the “Amazing Amy” novels were beautifully illustrated by artist Kirk Van Wormer


Additional Info


The proverb/phraseHell hath no fury than a woman scornedis defined asthere is nothing as unpleasant as a woman who has been offended or whose love has not been returned‘ (idioms.thefreedictionary.com) or ‘a woman rejected in love can be very angry and dangerous‘ (www.englishclub.com). 

The line was originated by William Congreve, an English playwright and poet who was born on January 24th, 1670 in Bardsey, West Yorkshire, England; somewhere near Leeds. He wrote a tragic play titled ‘The Mourning Bride’ in 1697

This is the original excerpt spoken by Zara in Act III, Scene VIII.

As you’ll answer it, take heed
This Slave commit no Violence upon
Himself. I’ve been deceiv’d. The Publick Safety
Requires he should be more confin’d; and none,
No not the Princes self, permitted to
Confer with him. I’ll quit you to the King.
Vile and ingrate! too late thou shalt repent
The base Injustice thou hast done my Love:
Yes, thou shalt know, spite of thy past Distress,
And all those Ills which thou so long hast mourn’d;
Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

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