Viewed – 07 October 2014 Cinema
I wasn’t at first that fussed about this adaptation of the best selling novel, as I’m not the biggest Ben Affleck fan and usually any surrounding hype means I’ll generally not rush out to see. Then I read a review and discovered one of my favourite directors was at the helm.namely David Fincher. Forgiving his somewhat disappointing effort with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, generally Mr Fincher not put a foot wrong, with Fight Club and Seven being firm favourites.
Ben plays a regular blue-collar guy who one morning arrives home to discover his beautiful wife (Rosamund Pike) has vanished, leaving in her wake evidence of a struggle. Before long a media-circus surrounds her disappearance and Ben has to go on TV to seek out help in finding her, whilst all the time the public and the news scrutinize his every move. Fincher’s expertise with a complex and investigation-heavy narrative makes this instantly absorbing and I was really pulled into the plight of Ben, his sister and the media attention. Questions are raised and clues are discovered and like me you’ll have your own theories as the story progresses – but with the weight of the novel behind it, there’s more to this baby than meets the eye. Affleck is very good in one of his more multi-layered roles and proved a lot more convincing than I’ve seen from him for a while. Rosamund Pike is also first rate, even in flash back; beautiful, sexy and suitably vulnerable.
Towards the end some revelations seemed a tad rushed and there was a weird vibe to the final act that felt hard to roll with – was I meant to be amused or disturbed? Also that ending left me with more questions than answers … probably not helped by some of the book’s event’s being glossed over (the stalker, the parents…). However this remains a brilliantly acted and at times very powerful thriller with Fincher (helped immeasurably by Trent Reznor’s creepy score) very much back on form.
Verdict: 4 /5