David Fincher has always been very meticulous with his film choices, which is why each one tends to be gripping and/or stays with you long after you've seen it. From his earlier, less commercial work, like 1997's The Game, to his more well-known epic, sweeping biopics, like Zodiac and The Social Network, Fincher has established a long-standing reputation for creating films with an air of mystery and intrigue about them. With Gone Girl, based on Gillian Flynn's third novel of the same name, Fincher has, once again, chosen a script tailor-made for his style.
Not being familiar with the plot of Gone Girl already is the best way to see the film, as it leaves greater potential for you to actually be surprised by what happens. That being said, Amy Elliott (Rosamund Pike, who is something of a Julia Styles 2.0) is a seemingly laidback woman who meets Missourian Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) in her native New York City while at a party. Impressed by his game, Amy, always "the cool girl" (as she later refers to herself), falls quickly for Nick. Being the inspiration for a children's book series called The Amazing Amy, which her parents peddle in spite of her aversion to it, Nick comes to Amy's rescue while being interviewed at a book release party about how she feels regarding Amy the character getting married when Amy isn't married in real life. It is at this point that Nick chooses to propose. The first two years of their marriage, as told through Amy's journals, are punctuated by romance and ease of communication. But things take a sour turn in year three as Amy describes Nick's increasingly abusive behavior.
On the day of their fifth anniversary, things have practically unraveled, or so Nick describes to his twin sister, Margo (Carrie Coon), while sitting at the bar (called The Bar) that they own together (paid for by Amy's trust fund). When he returns to their home to find that there's been a scuffle and Amy's nowhere to be find, Nick is more than a bit mystified over her disappearance. The lead detective on the investigation, Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens), is the only one who seems not to think Nick is the one responsible for Amy's absence.
The dark secrets of Amy's past and the truth behind the nature of their marriage is unraveled with delicate precision by Fincher, who keeps his viewer guessing for the first half of the film before unveiling the extent of Amy's psycho bitchery. With Nick's life on the line (Missouri still has the death penalty), his desperate dependence on Amy's return is only matched by his desperate desire to be free of her. The film, thus, serves not only as a fascinating individual character study, but a study of what the modern perspective on marriage is (chiefly, a prison).