Gone Girl – A Plot with a Twist or Non-stereotypical Roles

Last night I watched Gone Girl, which I found quite scary! I didn’t really like the ending but then I realized, if he had killed her that would have been predictable. If she had killed him, this would have been expected. It also would have turned the movie into a horror film and I would not have watched it. The ending was rather odd though and made no sense. Usually, this is what I love about foreign films, non-predictable and full of questions.

However, I did turn to Wikipedia, for some clarification thinking I’d read something new. The scenes seemed to race by, like a British murder mystery that isn’t quite sure how to come to a conclusion. Often the sillier but much loved TV murder mysteries are so confusing in the end but you don’t really care because you enjoyed the storyline and the actors. I don’t really love Ben Affleck, but I think he can be a great actor. Sometimes he chooses really dumb storylines but overall, he is good. I don’t know much about Rosamund Pike but I thought she did a wonderful job. It seemed though that the focus was too much on her being pretty, like Reese Witherspoon in “Wild.” No matter what scene Reese was in, even as a junkie, she still looked made up. Too think that no one recognized “Amy” just because of her hair color (especially when they are sitting right next to each other at the trailer park hotel) was a bit of a stretch. It is possible I suppose.  Isn’t that being non-politically correct though to stereotype poor white people?

The stereotypical feminist’s didn’t like it – of course! But what is strange is that Thelma and Louise are in their Top 10 of movies to watch. I found that movie rather ridiculous and not a film that showed strong female characters, rather, very weak and distraught. They probably wouldn’t have recognized Amy either. Amy was weak but mentally dysfunctional. Not too different than Natalie Portman’s character in “Black Swan.” It is funny that when the guy isn’t the bad guy and a woman is up against him it goes against stereotypical feminist beliefs but yet if it is a woman up against a woman, it makes sense? Or it is okay for the politically correct pundits. Here are some of the reviews by women via Wikipedia:

Writing in The Guardian on October 6, 2014, Joan Smith criticized what she saw as the film’s “recycling of rape myths”, citing research released in 2013 which claimed that false allegations of rape in the UK were extremely rare.[53] She wrote: “The characters live in a parallel universe where the immediate reaction to a woman who says she’s been assaulted is one of chivalrous concern. Tell that to all the victims, here and in the US, who have had their claims dismissed by skeptical police officers.”

I did think the scene with the police officers (who were they anyway?) was rather un-predictable and strange. I think the female cop in the beginning at least showed a little more common sense. Why were these other cops called in? I am sure the book would have explained it.

In an October 3, 2014, blog post for Ms. Magazine, Natalie Wilson argues that by not addressing Amy’s social privilege—whereby she possesses the “necessary funds, skills, know-how and spare time” to stage a disappearance—Gone Girl is the “crystallization of a thousand misogynist myths and fears about female behavior.”

I don’t think it is a myth or fear about female behavior if a male has been traumatized by a woman, any more than a woman having this fear in the same scenario. If the roles had been reversed in this film, it would have been predictable but the stereotypical feminists would have been salivating.

Alyssa Rosenberg wrote in the Washington Post on October 3, 2014, that, although she was initially “unconvinced” by the book, her fascination with the novel and film was partly due to her conclusion that “Amy Elliot Dunne is the only fictional character I can think of who might be accurately described as simultaneously misogynist and misandrist.”

I confess, I had to look up misandry because I had never heard the word before. Well, it is basically the definition of a stereotypical feminist.

Europeans love women and allow them to be in films, no matter what their age. The women don’t have all these issues that American women have about the roles they play. This is probably why they are in more films. That and they often speak more than one language which makes them versatile for different markets. I began to wonder about how things would have been if Gone Girl had been a European film. If the movie had been made in France, no doubt Isabelle Huppert would have starred in it. She definitely wouldn’t have come across as being “too pretty,” in all her scenes, though she is a beautiful woman. She is one of those actresses that always come across as intense, dark and fearful. In fact, I tend to become a little nervous about watching the movies she is starring in. “Merci Pour Le Chocolat,” comes to mind. From the onset, you don’t even imagine this will be a happy family story even with the designer wardrobe and the vast estate. The mansion looks like it belonged to Erzsébet Báthory. The nice expensive clothes on Isabelle’s character aren’t even noticed when the camera pans on her face while she is talking.

If it were made in Spain, Penélope Cruz would no doubt have been the lead and Pedro Almadovar would have directed it. I think of “Volver,” and how Pedro’s films always seem to make sense “When you put it that way.” Penélope has a huge repertoire of personalities that can come out on film. The “extras” that came with one of her films I rented through Netflix (DVD) showed her being filmed doing stills, while the cameraman asked her to portray different thoughts. I think it was after her Italian film “Don’t Move,” which is a story about a prostitute in a relationship with a physician, who ultimately rapes her. I was caught off guard by how ugly she was able to make herself for this performance, which was certainly very important to really embrace the character and not think of the actress.

In the end, I think Gone Girl was a good film in many respects. The beginning was rather stale and dry, though it began to make sense as it continued. I initially thought Ben Affleck was behaving like a bored actor not wanting to make a film. The gripping turn of events is what made me look at the film in a much better light. I began to realize Ben’s character Nick was really just confused and unsure of himself. In fact, I initially thought this was going to be a predictable storyline but then began to fear for Nick because I don’t like to see someone wrongfully accused. I don’t hate men. They took some time showing Amy in her true light, of course it made it much more palatable as a movie with this twist. I might like to have seen something that showed her a little off other than the “Amazing Amy,” clue. The ending probably could have used some work because I think confusing endings are okay but it just seemed out of context for the film. I can’t quite put my finger on what I think would have made more sense. Watch it because it is not a typical American movie, if you are one of those who hate modern US films. Don’t watch it if you are a stereotypical feminist, as you probably won’t find it fits your mindset. To fear it because you are a man is ludicrous and typecasting, just as it would be if the roles were reversed. It is a good film, don’t try to politicize it. There are mentally ill men and women. Even if it is rare that a woman would lie about rape, it does happen. It also makes for good plot twists and storylines.

Originally written in 2018

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