Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Gone Girl Trailer Analyzed

Alright! So the trailer for 'Gone Girl' has been out for some time now. The film stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as Nick and Amy Dunne respectively. David Fincher is directing, which is almost like a guarantee the film adaptation will be as good as its source material. I've never been this excited for a movie adaptation of a novel I've read since the last Harry Potter movie came out a few years ago. I also don't recall enjoying a book as much as I enjoyed the final Harry Potter book. So, you get it; I basically cannot wait for this movie to come out in October. 

The title of the movie is nowhere on the movie poster. Perhaps only those who have read the novel can guess the title from the caption stating "Amazing Amy" at the bottom. 

Now, the trailer has been receiving a little bit of mixed reception on social media. Most people are not very happy about the song that plays in the background. The last time most of us heard the song 'Her' was Elvis Costello's cover version for the 1999 British romantic comedy 'Notting Hill' with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in it. So, I suppose I see why this song instantly evokes a more light-hearted feeling than a dark one in most people. However, the Richard Butler version accompanying this trailer has a more sinister vibe to it. Even though the original lyrics are maintained, those who have read the book will immediately understand how this song relates to Rosamund Pike's character. The description is spot on. 

Before we get into the trailer, let me tell you a bit about the story in case you have not read the book. Nick and Amy Dunne are a young married couple who are forced to move to Nick's small hometown after he loses his job. Amy has quite a bit of money from her trust fund. Together with his twin Margo, Nick uses it to open a bar. On Nick and Amy's fifth wedding anniversary, she goes missing and all the clues seem to point to him as his wife's alleged murderer.

Now, let's analyze the scenes that make up the trailer. Caution: there might be spoilers, although I would not be too worried since Gillian Flynn, the writer of the novel and also the movie's screenwriter has stated that there will be a new ending to the film version.

The trailer begins with a scene where Nick Dunne is addressing a candlelight vigil. We find out that from Nick's speech and the poster in the scene that Amy has already been missing. Mr. and Mrs. Elliot, Amy's psychologist parents are in the background.

We then cut to a scene to a shot of Amy in bed, looking up at something, probably Nick. As readers of the book already know, the story is told alternately from both husband and wife's perspectives. From the welcoming look she is giving, it is probably easy to tell that this is from Amy's version of events, if Fincher chooses to stay loyal to the source material's format. Viewers might not yet get an idea of what kind of woman she is. 

After a few other shots, we get one that is very crucial to the story - the broken ottoman in the Dunne's living room. This comes very early in the novel, which Nick sees after coming back home in the morning. It raises his suspicion that something is wrong with Amy and that she has probably gone missing. 

Next, there is a shot of Amy taking a bubble bath. Nick sort of silently stares at her as he walks by. Amy watches as he passes. We are not entirely sure what the meaning of this exchange is, but it is clear things are not really warm and cuddly in the Dunne household. 

After a few scenes of townspeople helping in the search of Amy, we come to a scene in a dark, deserted building. Nick is part of the search too. To readers, it is quite obvious this takes place in the abandoned shopping mall where we find out Amy has bought a gun. When reading this novel, this might make you think Amy feels as though her life is in danger and she needs to protect herself. 

We then see another scene filled with silent exchanges between the two characters. They both seem to almost fear one another. Nick is afraid as he approaches their bedroom. Amy almost obediently covers herself with a blanket as she is in bed. Nobody really knows what is going on here. 

And then, a few shots later, there is this one. Nick and Amy are having a very heated argument, which ends up with one of them violently pushing the other one aside. This scene can easily mislead viewers into making up their minds on who the villain is. 

Then we see Nick posing for pictures at a press conference. The media already realises he shows very little emotion for a person whose wife has gone missing. He even unexpectedly smiles to the cameras at one point, which is not something the husband of a missing wife would do. 

This does not go well with Margo, Nick's twin sister, as evident from this shot. She probably already knows that her brother is not the good husband as she always thought he was. 

Then, we see people watching a Nancy Grace-like TV show with a shot of Nick smiling next to his missing wife's poster. The case has already become a high-profile one, especially with Amy having been a child star when she was little. Nick even gets interviewed 

This scene had many people shocked. What is Tyler Perry doing in this movie? Apparently, he will be playing Tanner Bolt, a lawyer with a reputation of having defended bad husbands in court and winning almost every case. Like the audience/readers, he too is unsure of Nick's innocence. This is where the film seems to be different from the book. In the novel, Bolt is white with a black wife. 

Very quickly, this shot flashes across the scene. Even if you have not read the book, you will know this is a mystery film where nothing is what it seems, or everything is exactly as it seems.  Amy creates an infuriating treasure hunt that forces Nick to face his darkest secrets in order to find his anniversary present.

After that, there is this close-up scene where Nick and Amy are very slowly, almost reluctantly, bringing their heads together to kiss. This just further confirms there is something terribly wrong with these characters. 

We get this scene towards the end of the trailer with Affleck's voice over following in suit; "I did not kill my wife. I am not a murderer..." Which is funny to think when we are shown a shot of Pike's character seemingly dead from being drowned. 

It is great to see Fincher has maintained his iconic dark-looking cinematography which is apt for this kind of mystery-thrillers. Also, the trailer does not tell us much about the story, which adds up to its mystery. 

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