Gone Girl is the #1 movie in the US box office right now, and it is based on a bestselling novel of the same name. I wasn’t able to get away from the hype, and so I decided to embark on a giant Gillian Flynn mission in which I read her books in order, and then finished it off with the movie as a grand finale. And here I am, ready to compare the movie to the book. Since I am comparing the movie to the book, there WILL be spoilers. That’s unavoidable, in my opinion.
I didn’t love Gone Girl (the book) as much as everybody else, but I was very happy to go and watch the movie to see the characters come to life on screen. My cinema was packed with OAPs out on their Friday night dates, which was interesting because I didn’t think the older crowd (65+) would be interested in a movie like this one. We all came out with smiles on our faces because Gone Girl was a really good movie. It had flaws, yes, but it was enjoyable and I would probably watch it again. Maybe.
I haaaaated Nick in the book because he is an absolute arse, so I entered the cinema ready to want to poke his eyes out with a pitchfork. The movie, however, makes him a bit more likeable. Firstly, they cast Ben Affleck to portray him, which should be your first clue that they’re going to make him a more relatable character. Not gonna lie, I did enjoy staring at him as he walked around in a black t-shirt for the entire movie. The movie really made the audience sympathise with Nick as they downplayed the cheating thing (Nick actually went to the beach on the morning of their 5th anniversary) and then they put most of the blame on Amy, whereas in the book they’re both two horrible sides of the same coin.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, I liked Amy in the book (as much as you can like her) a lot more than I liked her on screen. I wasn’t a fan of how they placed all the blame on her in the movie without going into more of her background. I don’t think they explained her character very well at all in the movie, and I think they should have done better so that the audience could have understood what made her tick. Instead she was a very one-dimensional psychopath whereas Nick was the wholesome bartender who was merely a victim who made one wrong choice.
There were a few side characters that I preferred in the movie to the book, which really surprised me! The movie really brought Go and Boney to life, and I thought the actresses did a great job with their characters. They were both extremely likeable, and they were both featured a lot more than I had been expecting! I also really loved Tanner Bolt. On the downside, Desi wasn’t creepy enough, in my opinion. I feel like they should have focussed on him and the way he viewed Amy as something he could possess and care for a little more. And then there’s the cat, who was the real star of the movie.
BEN AFFLECK. Okay, so I hate Nick. I really do. But Ben Affleck is very attractive in a black t-shirt. I found myself warning to him a little more because of that, which makes me a bit ashamed because I feel like my hormones were talking for me. On the other hand, it’s fiction and fuck you I do what I want.
I was NOT a fan of Rosamund as Amy. Firstly, as soon as she started talking I was completely thrown off. Her voice just didn’t fit the character, in my opinion. Everything she was saying felt strained, and you could argue that this is because she’s putting on a persona, but it’s meant to come naturally and flawlessly to Amy, and not throw people off. There were some scenes where I felt Pike was very wooden, which sucked.
I thought that the movie was very well paced, much like the book, and I was captivated the whole way through. The beginning throws you right into it, and the big reveal with Amy driving off in the car is very well done.
As an adaptation, I would probably give Gone Girl four out of five stars. It stuck very closely to the book, more so than I was expecting, and while a lot was taken out, they chose to keep the most important things in. They made some really great choices here.
I was very disappointed that they chose to leave out some very important female characters. There was no Hillary, and thus no backstory relating to her and Amy, and Tanner Bolt’s wife was nowhere to be seen. The latter isn’t so important to the plot, but the fact that they decided to include Tommy O’Hara, the guy that Amy accused of rape, and not Hillary really annoyed me.
And like I’ve mentioned before, the lack of backstory in regards to Amy frustrated me. There was no mention of Amy taking revenge on the people who she thought had wronged her, and then taking it all back. In the book, this showed dominance and how intelligent Amy really was. The lack of this backstory in the movie left Amy very one dimensional and it made her actions seem a little petty. If you can call faking your own murder petty.
Nick’s father’s misogyny was also mostly left out, and thus Nick’s own views one women. In the book he often finds himself calling women bitches or cunts, but this only happened a handful of times in the movie, which again seems like an attempt to make Nick more likeable.
But despite these complaints, I thought they did a fairly good job.
- Ben Affleck’s black t-shirts and muscles. Sorry, not sorry.
- Boney! She was flawless, and I’m glad she had such a big role in the movie.
- Go. I loved the actress who portrayed her, and I loved her in general. She really loves her brother, and their bond was cute.
- How Nick was the likeable one and Amy was the raging psychopathic bitch. It could be argued that this was true in the book as well, but in the movie this aspect was a lot more prevalent. BOTH of them should have been unlikeable, in my opinion.
- Amy’s casting.
- Lack of certain characters. See above.
Desi definitely wasn’t creepy enough in the movie! So much so that I felt even more terrible in the movie than in the book when you find out what happens to him in the end. And damn, that scene was freaking brutal. And just plain disturbing… (lol trying to keep it non-spoilery)
HAHAH omg yes the cat was actually the best actor of them all.
Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally says
I haven’t seen the movie yet but based on your thoughts I may enjoy it a little bit more. I a slightly different impression of the characters, I liked Nick more than Amy. Downplaying the affair definitely would make Nick look more sympathetic and having Desi be not as creepy would help make Amy look more crazy. But each of them being degrees of messed up is the best part of the book, like how you are unsure who to believe because they are both manipulative liars. Well we shall see what I think when I get a chance to see it, which will hopefully be soon. Great post!
Lauren at Bookmark Lit says
Yes! I agree so much! Amy’s casting was off. I liked her appearance-wise and thought that really fit the character, but her voice threw me off SO much! It was really transparent that she was a creepy and psycho person because of that low voice. I completely forgot about some of the secondary characters like Hillary and Tanner’s wife, but I guess they weren’t completely necessary. But then again, you’re right, they shouldn’t have bothered with the guy she accused of rape.