Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens, Missi Pyle, Patrick Fugit, Tyler Perry (Rated MA – 149 min).
It is that time of year when the studios begin to roll out their big gun films that they believe have Academy Award winning potential. This flawless murder-thriller, with enough tension to send my senses into hot and cold flushes throughout, is no exception.
Adapted from the best-seller by the author herself Gillian Flynn, may I suggest even if one has read the novel, the manipulating revelations and slight differences will begin to surface when people see it. The less you know, the higher the impact.
Nick Dunne reports his wife missing on their fifth wedding anniversary creating a media circus and a whole community upset that a seemingly blissful marriage has been ripped apart by this disappearance. Under pressure from police, lies, deceit and strange behaviour emerge from Nick before the media switch the spotlight on the would-be grieving husband. Is it a prince charming on the outside but a cold as ice killer on the inside? Is it all a smoke screen for further as yet untold atrocities? I am not about to answer those questions but the voiceover throughout leaves no doubt. Absolutely nothing is at it seems. Forming an instant opinion, infidelity is what most assume enhancing the gossip, but how can that be? On the surface this was a kind, perfect couple without any dramas.
Rapidly rising auteur Ben Affleck is solid as Nick, former Bond girl Rosamund Pike as Amy is a definite to garner Oscar attention. Her unravelling story is patiently told leaving no stone unturned and Pike will stun the audience into submission, literally. This performance by the British actress is a reason for many of the unexpected jarring, ‘what just happened’ moments. Added zing, an eerie soundtrack reminiscent of Twilight Zone.
Be prepared to see singer, performer Neil Patrick Harris as you have never ever seen him before. He is suitably suspicious the second he appears as an anxious high school flame still uncomfortably obsessed with Amy. Tyler Perry is also memorably amusing as a celebrity lawyer hired to prove innocence and a sideline for public relations stature.
Director David Fincher (Seven, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is no stranger to constructively messing with the mind of an audience, my legs felt weighted down in certain scenes of complete anguish. Modern day adult-orientated cliffhangers don’t get much better than this.
Shane A. BassettSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.