If you've seen the film, then there are so many questions that left me scratching my head. Do Americans REALLY believe marriage is such a hell that the only way to keep the status quo is by literally sleeping with the enemy? Do men and women have such a deep seated core misunderstanding of each other's motives and desires that the only way to resolve that indifference is through violence and murder?
Gone Girl starts off as a classic 'whodunnit' story. Lovely wife goes missing, husband is the suspect and we go from there. But the two different versions of this 'true love and happily ever after' story are so divergent that the confusion and disaffection Ben Affleck's character Nick shows is not so surprising.
We find oursleves with people whether in marriage or in relationships, who have changed over time. The initial courting period is never one to count on, as to how your life 'might be' with a person. At the beggining we are all on our best behaviors because we want to be loved, we want to be adored and accepted, and most will go to many lengths to secure their lover's affections.
But what happens after the white wedding? When all the guests are gone and the house is bought and the furniture moved in. What is this strange normalization process where couples start to take each other for granted and stop playing their romantic roles. Well, as this film shows the brutal truth comes out and we see with whom we ar actually with. Here it's terrifying.
What's more terrifying is that the form of that terror comes in the unexpected form of Nick's wife, Amy. Everyone always expects the husband to be the root of violence in a family. If a murder happens, usually it's the female to suffer the consequences and lose her life.
That's why this film is shocking. It plays with every day cliches about relationships and marriage. Even cliches about crime solving and police work, domestic violence and murder. It all starts off quite predictable until you see what Amy has in store for her cheating husband. It's not just his infidelity - it's about the greater lies we weave when catching, hooking and reeling in a partner. The lie of a false self we project - a false self we think is more worthy of love than our true personalities.
Over the test of time and marriage, the friction of everyday living wears down thin the veil of our more perfect selves and the more banal aspects start to seep out. If we cannot be what we promised our partners we would be - til death do us part - then resentment, disappoint and angers factors in. In the film, this happens to a point of homicidal rage.
It's the woman's rage that features at the centre of this movie, so used to playing a role that is not what sets her off - it's that her husband will not continue to play the role he promised. And so from that point she is gone, girl!
Off the edges of sanity into the maniacal depths of her depravity she delves into the utter outrage every women feels from being erased by her partner. If he can let himself go then so shall she....but to much greater consequnces than he could have ever imagained.
This is a great film about the lies we tell each other and ourselves in love. And it's also about the price we pay for telling those lies, that in the end become our reality.