Saturday, October 18, 2014

3 Thoughts on Gone Girl

*Slight spoilers*
1. It's a Lifetime movie, with slightly better acting - Okay...that seems a bit harsh, but that is honestly how I felt while watching it. My initial reaction to the movie was utter disappointment, but I like to let movies sink in, give them a chance to fully develop into my brain. I thought that after a week (or 2) that I would feel differently, but I don't. I really, really wanted to like it and I thought that I was going to love it. So my disappointment comes as a HUGE shock to me. My problem with the movie is the story, itself. I guess I should have been more skeptical, since the book was such a huge hit with the "masses". I haven't read it (and now I absolutely never will), but I assume it is written the same way as this movie (since Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay) and it feels very condescending. It's feels like the same people who enjoy the book are the same people who are portrayed as idiots in the movie (the idiots who make snap judgments based on little proof and spread gossip based on hearsay).  I don't know about you, but I like to think that I am smarter than that. My disdain for the story had a huge impact on my general feelings towards the movie, but when I step back and analyze it, I will admit that there are some incredibly captivating shots, some wonderfully dry humor and a strong performance from Ben Affleck. Why everyone else is focusing on Rosamund Pike, I'll probably never understand. She is adequate, but not nearly the "revelation" that she is being praised as. I think the performance would have had a much stronger impact if she had a warmth to her; something that made me connect with her and understand her (in the beginning) so that the *twist* would have been a bigger shock. Although, I'm not sure if her character is written that way or if she was directed that way; so it may not be her fault. This brings me to my next thought:  

2. Is it misogynistic? - The truth is, I don't really care. I don't think that this is what the story is about. However, I do think that there is a clear problem that people have when writing female characters. I'm supposed to believe that this down-to-Earth type guy falls head over heals in love with this woman because she is smart and sophisticated. Yet, she is never, ever, shown as being the least bit nice or friendly (and in contrast, nice and friendly women are often portrayed as ditsy or "messes"). Is it too complicated to write a female character who is both? And to have a male character fall in love with a female character who is smart and nice? Back to the "misogyny" of it all, the reason I don't think it's something this film can be analyzed for is because it's simply about a crazy person. Crazy is a lighthearted word for an absolute complete psychopath. Just because the movie is about a lying, cold-hearted, murderous female, I don't think it is implying that all women are like this. I think the story (the horrible, endless, dumb-as-rocks story) is more about the media sensationalizing murderers and the impact that the media has on our justice system. It's also about the disintegration of a marriage based on lies, financial trouble, jealousy and resentment - and both the female and male characters can be blamed for that.

3. The third act - *major spoilers, obviously* - I don't get it. Are we supposed to be surprised that she is alive? There wasn't one moment in the movie that I didn't think she was alive and that he was innocent. So, I assumed that revelation wasn't actually the big shocking twist. The third act plays out very similar to how I expected it to. The foreshadowing of the previous rape accusation, the fact that her ex is wealthy and still obsessed with her, the pregnancy talk about him giving a semen sample - it's all there, right in front of your face. (side note: can we please stop having female characters lie about being raped? It seems like it's a running trend right now.) Then, the very end is obviously frustrating, but also probably the only thing I actually didn't expect - because it's ridiculous!!! Even if he is feeling the responsibility and guilt of being a father, would he honestly let his child be raised by a psychopath who lies about being raped and oh yeah....SHE MURDERED SOMEONE!?! There are clearly some MAJOR plot miscalculations. The biggest two that bother me are: 1. The girl that she bonds with doesn't recognize her because she puts on glasses?? HAHAHAHAHAHA. Is she Superman? 2. If there are cameras recording every entry way - wouldn't they have picked up her arrival (which was days/weeks (??) after she went missing) and wouldn't they see that she went into the house willingly? The whole story is just so fucking dumb, I can't even think about it anymore.

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