Gone girl is a mystery movie directed by David Fincher based on the Gillian Flynn novel of the same name. Starred in Missouri, the film tells a story about mystically gone woman Amy. The movie has a fascinating plot and became so popular with spectators that can be analyzed from various perspectives, including the analysis of language, image, editing, music and other levels of evaluation.
At first sight, the film “Gone girl” may seem to tell a story about the happy couple who likes entertaining each other playing games. The plot stars very happily, when the couple of two main protagonists celebrate their fifth anniversary. Unfortunately, after that the wife is gone.
The first half of the film gives a pleasant picture of a community, which consists of the couple and their parents, friends and siblings. The next part, however, disclose different view on things. All previously depicted facts (such as love between main protagonists Amy and Nick and their faithful friends) seem to be only one side of real picture of life. That is why the film I will analyze from the various perspectives.
From one perspective, the film touches the women rights. In the first part of the film, we see a woman who is happy with her husband, but in the second part, it is a victim of domestic violence. Some people even might say that this film reminds them of a new fictional version of a domestic melodrama. The film gives the background information about the city, where Amy and Nick live, about their hose and their moving to another city. However, it does not give an answer to any of the questions, which appear in spectators’ minds. People hardly understand, is there a real danger for Amy when Nick shows anger to her, or she is cheating on him and she is the one who violets the rights of others.
From a technical perspective, it is well shot. Using the 6K digital widescreen, the cinematographer J. Cronenweth keeps the visual color cool and chilly even when the plot heats up. In this way, the director achieved the extraordinary and impressive visionary picture of scenes. He shows a picture-perfect world, full of crime scenes. Fincher is very attentive to details, which also plays an important role in achieving a needed atmosphere of fear and anxiety. One more trick that directors use is the story inside the story. Nick finds envelops with the title “clue” which are a flashback to their past life and tells the story of their marriage. The presence of an additional story in the film makes the plot more understandable and gives food for brains.
The film “Gone Girl” is a psychological thriller. In this kind of films, music as well as picture are indispensable parts, which help to achieve needed atmosphere. The first element that I wanted to point out is music. The producer and director of the film achieved a desirable environment with the help of monotone music. The mixture of soothing sounds and some electronic noises increases the anxiety and helps to go deeper in the film plot. People, who watched such kind of film at first time, must notice the substantial difference between thriller “Gone girl” and other films with similar thematic. It does not have any song with lyrics. All sounds are monotone and electric. Moreover, during some important moments, where spectators should experience more anxiety and even fear, the music disappears at all.
The lightning differs from the situation they represented. During the story, which has a flashback to the past of the married couple, all scenes were in dark colors and with the slight shade of blue. Blue color means cold. I think it was a bit of a hint given to the spectators about the real life of the couple, which turned to be unfortunate at the end.
A play of the main actors is also an important element in analyzing the film. As Amy and Nick, Pike and Affleck perfectly cast. They differ from the first part of the film until the end, according to the mismatch of their unhappy marriage. With the help of their professionalism, the spectators dive into their life and experience all the emotions, which the main protagonists convey. Because the way they present the story largely influence the way, viewers construct their meaning.
The film “Gone Girl” shows different levels of meaning. The explicit content shows a moral of a story. In this case, the moral of the film is that not everything we consider to be good is really good, not everything evil is truly evil. We also see the explicitly how people thoughts change toward the main hero Nick as soon as he becomes being suspicion to his “ideal” woman.
A much deeper level of interpretation “Gone girl” is implicit content. It is less obvious for viewers but it is possible to identify it seeing how main characters change, develop and grow throughout the whole film. Some features of the characters can be easy to recognize in human relationship, even when characters do not explicitly state them with their own words.
Explicit and implicit meanings of the film are based on film as a self-contained work. Sometimes, in order to find a richer meaning of a film, it is necessary to know something about its creators. The meaning obtained from this additional information calls “external evidence”. It means, that sometimes the information is not possible to identify from the film itself.
The last level of interpretation is symptomatic level. The symptomatic interpretation examines the film as a part of culture or society, in a broader context, and sometimes in the film creators’ life experience. This level of interpretation shows a symbolic content or shows the whole story as an allegory about something.
The interpretation of the film not only depends on the directors and the circumstances they want to show, but also on the level of exposure, the viewer has to media message. There are physical exposure, perceptual exposure and psychological exposure. The first works when the person occupies the same position for a certain period of time. Perceptual exposure shows the ability to receive sensory messages through visual and hearing senses. The physical exposure appears when at least one element appears in person’s mind.
While watching the film, I was in a quite stable mood and in attentional state. I was very attentive to the message that film was conveying to me and was trying to catch every moment. There are three more exposure states, which influences the way people get the information.
In automatic state, there are many messages in the environment and you are exposed to every message. Nevertheless, a multi - tasking state reduces the amount of information a person can get. When you are attentive, you can get information that is more useful in comparison to automatic state, when you listen to everything but cannot recollect a lot of you have heard.
My personal life experience shows, that the best way to perceive the information is to be alone in a room and to concentrate on the information you are going to get. In addition, it is important to read some background information before watching the film. The things that happen in filmmakers’ lives and lives of actors can influence the way they construct the meaning of the whole film. I always try to be aware of it.
I would suggest watching this film with a dim light alone at home. It would help to get the most precise view on what the directors wanted to say. Moreover, in this way nobody will bother you with the questions.
Consequently, after watching film “Gone girl”, I can claim that there are a few things, which influences the perception of the plot. It depends on the gender of a viewer, ideological orientation and religion. However, the general impression of the film remains unchanged.
On many levels, the film is very frustrating. At first, you see a beautiful young woman, who loves her husband and is ready for children. During the film, you realize that everything that directors showed in the first part is just a one side of a medal. Amy murders ex-boyfriend Desi (Neil Patrick Harris), who actually rescued Amy when her plan did not work out. She stabs him to death and faces no punishment. Amy is a quasi-fictional character, immortalised (perversely idealised) in her mother’s Amazing Amy children’s books, her fairytale alter ego still stubbles its host in adulthood. Amy’s diaries tell us another story, where Nick, whom she no longer recognizes as a man she married, terrorizes her. Meanwhile, Nick takes PR lessons from lawyer Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry), the “patron saint of wife killers” who understands the art of faking sincerity for the media. It is my interpretation of the film, which works only from my point of view. Even at the end some important questions remain. Who was right, Amy or Nick? Why she still lives together? Why Amy changed her mind and came back to Nick? All these questions become food for brains and give viewers an opportunity to think about the film.
Taking into consideration my personal life experience, I cannot say that I have many common features with the main protagonists or with their social background. However, estimating all factors that influence the perception of the film, I would say that it is easier to understand by young women. As the main conflict and climax run by a woman, and a man is in contrast to her, it is better to dive deeper in Amy’s thoughts and try to understand and realize all the tragedy of the situation from her point of view.
The film “Gone girl” is worth watching, as it does not impose a certain point of view. Furthermore, it gives a good basis for its analyzing from different perspectives, points of view and using various levels of meaning.