Gone Girl: Book vs. Film

Monday 13 October, 2014

Gone Girl: Ben Affleck


The book is always better. Well, in my opinion. No film has ever out-done its book counterpart. In fact, I have even refused to watch the film version of The Book Thief in fear of it ruining my favourite book. Ok, I’ll give Harry Potter some credit, thanks to J.K. Rowling no doubt chaining herself to the director every step of the way, scrutinizing his every decision. And have you seen The Kite Runner? If you haven’t, do yourself a favour and keep it that way.


When it came to Gone Girl, however, how could I have possibly refused to watch one of the biggest films of the year – and with Ben Affleck? I never say no to Ben.


For the most part, I did enjoy Gone Girl. If you haven’t seen it, you should. It was entertaining and it did stick with the details of the book fairly closely. Yes, it skipped a few details but that’s to be expected. In no way am I saying that it was a bad film, because it’s not. And if you think I’m about to criticize the director of The Social Network, Fight Club, and Se7en, then think again.


Here’s my point. How are you supposed to condense 432 pages of suspense and intrigue into two and a half hours (albeit it could have been two hours)? How are you supposed to portray a movie version of a book that switches between characters like a tennis match? The answer: you don’t. For me, the book kept me under suspense until the very end. I was always curious, always questioning. Whereas the movie, once the twist was revealed that Amy has framed her husband for her own murder (oh yeah, spoiler alert), all details seemed to be released within minutes. We are no longer wondering what comes next. The suspense is over. It’s almost (dare I say it)...disappointing.


Not trusting my own opinion, I’ve branched out and sought the opinion of what others had to say!


Estely, who has both read the book and watched the film:


“As with the book, the first half of the movie was a bit slow. The interpretation of Ben Affleck as the husband with a dull face was perfect, even annoying sometimes! For me, the actress Rosamund Pike who played Amy did a perfect interpretation! Her eyes, the way she moved, walked… everything was perfect and so true to the book description.”


Adela, has not read the book but has watched the film:


“The story line was perfect! But the first half of the movie was a bit slow and confusing. It was an ok movie but I was expecting a lot more.”


Gone Girl: Book vs Film


My main issue is with the ending. Don’t get me wrong; I was disappointed with the ending of the book as well. I wanted Amy dead. Instead, it turned out she had married a man just as psychopathic as she was, luckily for her. Even though I didn’t get the satisfaction of a well-rounded ending, it seemed appropriate that they be together after Nick turned out not to be the person we thought. In the movie? Nick stays the same. He is the same, gorgeous Mr. Affleck that we see throughout the film and yet he chooses to stay with this crazy bitch? Why am I, as an audience member, supposed to buy this?


Here’s what Estely thought of the ending:


“As in the book, I wasn’t angry at the end chosen by the author; I thought that they were so similar on a crazy level, that they deserved each other. And thank God for the rest of humanity, two insane people together means that other two innocent won’t be hurt by their behavior!”


As always, the book prevails. No one is to blame. Words can often be more powerful than images, allowing you to imagine your own version of events rather than been presented them on a silver platter. Even if that platter does contain Ben Affleck, I prefer my imagined version.

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