5 / 5
Gripping, brutal and thrilling.
A missing-person thriller that is mounted with murderous suspense accompanied with a thrilling storyline that grips you from beginning to end. Fascinating characters, brutally good plot and an air of not knowing all combine in this bloody brilliant film adapted from the bestselling novel of the same title.
The film begins close to the endpoint of the story with a cryptic message, which is the result of the events that have transpired and that have lead to that moment. Director David Fincher (Zodiac, Fight Club, House of Cards) presents the film with a combination of flashbacks to the early beginnings of Nick and Amy’s blossoming relationship and to the present day, where their relationship has soured due to the recession, a move to Missouri and Nick’s affair with a student.
On the day of Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary, Nick returns home to find that their living room has been a scene of serious fight with a shattered glass table and upturned furniture. But this is no ordinary situation that Nick finds himself in, because due to his unfaithfulness to his wife in a manner she finds horrifying, she has devised a plan enacted on their anniversary to ensure Nick is punished for his failure as a husband.
Amy formulated a plan built around a series of incriminating circumstances that would ensure that Nick is prime suspect for her murder. She befriended neighbours, created financial troubles, fabricated domestic disputes, reports of her attempting to buy a gun, poorly concealed evidence, falsified pregnancy tests and a diary blending truth and fiction to manipulate the police into thinking Amy was living in fear of Nick. She begins this tortuous debacle on their wedding anniversary where she sets up for him a customary “treasure hunt”, except this time she is leaving clues for the police to highlight and build up all of the components she has created to see Nick put down for her murder. Nick then becomes the subject of a witch-hunt by female talk show hosts, social media and the general public.
Pike delivers a sensational performance, she is poised and unrelenting as devious Amy prepares and executes her plan to snare Nick and to bring her own justice to his philandering and neglectful ways. Her voiceovers for diary extracts were full to the brim of deceitful emotion that fooled the police’s investigation into believing she was a scared housewife rather than conniving snake that she is. She rejects the idea of becoming a compliant wife, and instead she is a reinvigorating as she enacts her venomous plan.
The shocking and brutal nature of the second half of the film goes along at a frightening speed as the plan begins to have more light shown upon it. It grips us and we never let go as we are desperate and fully invested in the storyline that we do not want to miss a second of the electrifying events that have transpired or the events that are to come. Each scene is perfectly paced, the music or lack of music helped to create a fascinating atmosphere and the performances of Pike and Affleck were superb. This is one of the best films I have watched for a while and I was absolutely gripped by this enthralling and captivating thriller from the first scene to closing credits.