Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gone Girl: Go Away Already

The title some what gives it away.  You could either think that it is about a woman saying good-bye to the girl she once was or simply that a girl from some where is now gone.  It is the latter.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn sparsely known for her 'thrillers' falls short of thrilling me.  I say sparsely because she hasn't written that many, not to the tune of say a Mary Higgins Clark for example, but it is not meant to be a dig at Flynn.  If I was going to throw a dig it would be the non-thrill of the so called 'thriller'.  The only murder is of a character so insignificant I almost forget his name (Desi) but the key is the whodunit bit which you figure out so easily it takes away from any thrill you could possibly have imagined.  It is twisty and I'll get to that but first let's give Flynn her due because she is in fact a very good writer.

I will tell you what I feel is worth huge accolades from another writers perspective and that is that Flynn writes in two voices, two styles.  A male and female voice with completely different perspectives - thumbs way up here Flynn for pulling this off so well.  Actually when you think about the psycho bitch voice of Amy you have three voices or characters because the real Amy chick is white jacket, padded room, clinically insane.  Flynn (Amy) creates an alter ego for the crazy bitch that Amy is, through a fabricated diary.  The perfect wife persona looking for a perfect life and not finding one, not with (Nick) Dunne anyway.  Yet somehow Amy maintains, muddles through each and every painstakingly boring day of mid-west minutia that hometown folks call living, according to her 'diary'.  Big city girl adapting to a lazy husband in a new town with no friends and nothing to do makes for very needy sounding journal entries that leave you feeling a little down on Nick (Dunne) her husband for being a douche-bag and not to mention for murdering her, or so you think.

<Spoiler Alert>  And there's the twist, book two (part two of one book) starts out with the revealed Amy, crazy psycho bitch Amy, on the run.  She has just faked her own murder and framed her husband for it.  It gets interesting - there's a police team that fumbles through evidence, small town detectives who have never encountered a crime like this one and who all really like Nick even though it's likely, because the 'evidence' says so, that he is a killer.

Then comes the big high price attorney, the mistress, dumb Nick and his strange twin love with sister 'Go' (Margo).  Just when you think the jig is up for this dude in walks his murdered wife, alive and well (a little worse for wear by her own doing to make for a convincing kid-napping and rape scenario story).  Overall, Nick is a dumb ass, who may or may not be that great of a lover married to Amy who is a conniving, calculated psycho that presumably will end up dead should Flynn decide to take this story to a sequel (let's hope). But I started to lose interest when the drifters in the Ozarks didn't kill her.  Although it would have been a lame ending I suppose.  Or a dragged out story about an innocent man put on death row to find out minutes before he takes his dead man walk that the body of his murdered wife has been discovered and he is not a killer after all.  But I am not the writer here, Flynn is and she took it to where she wanted it to go.  

In terms of character portrayal, I feel like because Flynn had to pay such close attention to the voices of Amy, Amy and Nick that the rest of the cast falls short.  Kind of like 'man on corner' that you read in movie credits to describe an extra in a scene.  Not discrediting the effort, I've already commended her on a job well done in being able to pull off a story written by three distinct voices.  There's just not much more beyond that is all I'm saying.

In case you're wondering, of course it will be a movie. . .

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