It goes without saying that generally books are better than their movie adaptions, and this falls for many reasons; the book has WAY more space for description and action, you see what you believe, there are no limitations and of course, you spend more time with 300+ pages than you do a 1-2 hour film.
However, once in a while, a film adaption comes out that blows your mind. It does the book justice and you are able to move past minor events that have been scrapped in the film. One of these movie adaptions is of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.
When I first read the novel (yes, it is a book I have read multiple times), I was completely astounded at how perfectly set up the plot line was – how on Earth did the author come up with something so brilliant? From beginning to end, there were plots twists after plot twists and I was kept on edge. I raved about the book, and soon recommended it to both friends and family.
I was even more excited for the film to come out. There was a massive wait for it, and the trailers looks ever so promising. Let me break down elements:
I think that the casting in the film was so well done when comparing them to the characters in the book. Rosamund Pike’s was as alluring and conniving as her character Amy Dunne in the book, and Ben Affleck pulled off a perfect victim of heinous blackmail. His character is far from innocent though, as the mystery evolved we find out some of his dark secrets that pushed Amy to the edge. At first knowledge, I thought that Neil Patrick Harris was a really bizarre casting choice for Desi Collins (come on, I couldn’t stop think about how Barney – How I Met Your Mother – could ever pull off such a serious role) – an obsessed and somewhat mentally unstable ex-boyfriend who pines after Amy throughout pretty much the entire story. However, the film showed otherwise. It was also interesting to me that model Emily Ratajkowski was acting in it – however, she pulled off the role as Andie incredibly well.
There were no surprises when it came to actors performance vs. character’s behaviours and personalities in the novel. I think they were as authentic as they could get and they had an amazing believability to them.
The thing that I thought would be the biggest flop of the movie actually turned out to be a strong point. The book is written from multiple perspectives – changing from Amy’s journal entries to the real time thoughts of Nick. The initial set up of the film was strong, starting with a monologue of Nick Dunne – just as the book does. It it shown through Nick’s perspective until momentum into the mystery is formed, and then suddenly Amy comes in with her perspective, a monologue of her new found freedom.
The film was directed by David Fincher, and produced by leading ladies such a Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Fincher has an incredible eye for detail (if you want to see the detail, watch this clip) and his stylistic choices give the film the gritty and true atmosphere that the story needs.
I think what also helps the transition from novel to film so smooth is the fact that Gillian Flynn wrote both the novel and the screenplay. Often with movie adaptions, a separate screenwriter adapts the novel into the screenplay, often missing pivotal moments and vital details of the story.
I think the film flowed so uniquely yet so beautifully and it was a great storytelling piece. We were able to see constant progression, despite going back and forth between characters and perspectives.
If you have seen the film but haven’t read the book, I recommend you do. If you have read the book but haven’t seen the film, I recommend you do.
What are some of your favourite adaptions?