Sunday, 5 October 2014
Gone Girl (4 Stars)
This is a very impressive film that I almost missed. The trailer looked dull, but my friends persuaded me to go to the cinema with them. I have to admit that I was hooked from the first minutes. The story was thrilling, but it was primarily the atmosphere that gripped me.
The plot -- and I'll restrict myself to what can be seen in the trailer -- is simple. Nick Dunne's wife goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary. He reports it to the police. They find blood stains and evidence of a struggle. Within a few days the police are treating Nick as the main suspect in a murder case. The media judges him, as is normal in American murder investigations, and he becomes the most hated man in America.
I don't know if my English friends picked up all of the references. The television reporter in the film, Ellen Abbott, is closely based on the famous murder reporter Nancy Grace. The casting team must have searched for a long time to find someone who looked like her. I've watched Nancy Grace for months during the Jodi Arias murder trial. Okay, in the case of Jodi Arias I agree that her judgement is right, but if I were ever wrongly accused of murder I wouldn't want her speaking about me on television. She appoints herself judge and jury, invariably deciding that the alleged killer is guilty, and she persuades the American public that the person should be executed. The other television reporter in the film, Sharon Shieber, seems to be based on Jane Velez-Mitchell, while the lawyer Tyler Perry could be any one of a dozen generic celebrity lawyers. In America, as you know, justice doesn't come cheap. It's not a matter of who's right or wrong, court cases are won by the person who can afford the best attorney.