Photo courtesy of Screen Rant

Photo courtesy of Screen Rant

Before going to see “Gone Girl,” the only two things I knew about the movie were that David Fincher directed it, and that it’s about a girl who’s … gone. Needless to say, I didn’t really know the plotline or what to anticipate. But as a fan of David Fincher’s work (“The Social Network,” “House of Cards,” “Fight Club”), I knew it had to be good. After watching it, I can say that it is as good as, if not better than, any Fincher film.

“Gone Girl,” based on the novel by Gillian Flynn, is a beautifully frightening film that tells the story of the complicated marriage between Nick and Amy Dunne, played by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. The film centers on the mystery behind Amy’s unexpected disappearance on their five-year anniversary. As part of an elaborate scheme for revenge on her cheating husband, Amy disappears and leaves clues that frame Nick as a murderer.

Nick has no idea where his wife has gone, but as more clues are revealed, they point to the idea that he had something to do with her disappearance. The police continue to investigate further and everybody in town starts to believe that Nick is responsible for the murder of his wife.  Throughout the film, he tries to piece together the reasons behind Amy’s disappearance while trying to prove to the world that he is innocent.

Things get more and more complicated as events unfold and the truth comes out.  Filled with deception and suspense, “Gone Girl” will definitely keep you sitting at the edge of your seat and have you whispering, “what the fuck,” quietly to yourself at the ending.

Before I spoil the movie even further, I’d like to share the lessons that I have learned from watching “Gone Girl”.

You can’t force love onto somebody.

Gone Girl” paints painfully relatable scenes that depict the extreme bliss of beginning a relationship, followed by the desperate great lengths people are willing to go to save a relationship when it starts to fall apart. What we should all learn from Amy Dunne is to not do what she did.

While she was a beautiful, intelligent and extremely cunning character, she was also mentally troubled, soulless and vengeful. It is heartbreaking for a person to let go of the significant other that doesn’t love them anymore, but manipulation and trickery are not the way to force the relationship to keep going.  Her plan may have been successful, but it could never happen in real life.

There are two sides to every story.

In the beginning of the movie, the audience is not given the full story. All signs point to Nick as the murderer and Amy as the victim. But when the film reveals Amy’s agenda, everyone stops hating Nick and starts to sympathize with him.  In the end of the story, the media and the townspeople are convinced that Nick and Amy are the perfect couple, not knowing the real truth about their relationship and the lies that they both told.

Just like real life, it’s easy to make assumptions about people or situations after hearing only one side or source, especially when one is a close friend.  People are often biased and the only way to figure out the full, accurate story about anything is to ask everybody involved.

You should never alter yourself to fit someone’s mold of what is cool.

Amy tried really hard to become her husband’s idea of a perfect woman, whom she labels the “Cool Girl.” The Cool Girl is a “hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes and burping; who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth while somehow maintaining a size 2.”

She’s the type of girl that’s “understanding, never gets angry and only smiles in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want.”  Amy later admits that that type of girl doesn’t exist and that she never felt like she could be herself. She may have been a sociopath, but she serves as a reminder that altering yourself to please others never ends up well.