The meaning of the ending of the film “Gone Girl” (2014) with Ben Affleck, explanation of the plot (review)

“This is marriage”: love and murder in the thriller “Gone Girl”

The detective thriller “Gone Girl” is considered one of the most mysterious, strange postmodern films of our time. If you do not look carefully enough, you can miss half the details and not understand anything. Therefore, we will analyze what is the meaning of the film “Gone Girl”, delve into the plot interweaving and explain the ending.

About the movie

The detective filmed in 2014 based on the novel “Gone Girl” by the famous writer Gillian Flynn. According to her book, the popular TV series Sharp Objects and the horror film Dark Places were filmed.

The specific handwriting of the writer is felt here too: this is a lengthy gloomy thriller with an oppressive, frightening atmosphere. Such a story, when nothing seems to be happening, but very scary. You can relate to such art in different ways, but it always leaves a very vivid impression: positive or negative – this is already a dispute about tastes.

Gone Girl ThrillerFilm frame

The director of the picture is David Fincher, and his handwriting is well guessed in this picture. So if you are thinking whether to watch the movie or not, remember: how do you like Fight Club, Seven, Zodiac, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? If you like this, then “Gone Girl” is a must-see.

Plot

We are used to the fact that in detective stories the main intrigue is revealed at the last moment. The detective thriller “Gone Girl” breaks this scenario: the key question is revealed in the middle of the film, but a new one immediately arises – and it already remains unanswered.

The film tells about a married couple: in the center of the writer-loser Nick Dunn (Ben Affleck) and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike). On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. An investigation begins, the police suspect that Nick killed her. Whether this is true is unclear. Opinion about the heroes changes every three minutes.

With the help of a strange plot, the film reveals several socially significant problems, paints a portrait of the era and criticizes the modern way of life.

“The Disappeared” is considered a postmodern work: for its depressing look at serious things, the fragmentary nature of the story, the denunciation of stereotypes, and the abnormality of the characters. The plot of the film loops: at the end, the characters returned to the starting point of the story. Until the last moment, they remain strange, “alien” and with a frightening mystery in their eyes.

Three major themes intertwine in Gone Girl: the corrosive effects of marriage, the corrosive effects of parental expectations, and the corrosive effects of the media on society and individuals.

Beware: if you haven’t seen the movie yet, it’s time to stop here and go watch it. And then come back! Spoilers will follow.

Marriage

Nick and Amy’s relationship is a classic American “happy love” story that soon stops being happy. Meeting, spark at first sight. But five years pass and the spouses already hate each other.

The love story that we were shown went through the following stages:

  • Both are happy and love each other;
  • Both were tired and began to quarrel;
  • The husband is cheating;
  • The wife tries to kill her husband;
  • The wife changed her mind. Maybe he’ll kill a little later.
  • This is an evil caricature of modern married life. The film expresses the following thought: “At first, all of you don’t have a soul in each other, you are sure that everything will always be perfect between you. But as soon as the first difficulty arises, you give up! And you begin to hush up grievances, then – to quarrel, then – to change … “

    When Nick asks Amy, “How did we end up hating each other so much?” at the end of the film, she replies, “That’s what marriage is.” The marriage of heroes is really saturated with malice, fear, madness and pain. This is what they accepted as their standard. In the same way, each individual couple accepts their oddities as the norm.

    In one of the last scenes, in a conversation between Nick and his sister, we understand with horror that Nick is satisfied with the current state of affairs and he will not leave his psychopathic wife anywhere. He will live with the killer and raise a child conceived to spite him. And this is his version of the norm. In the depths of the hero’s soul, this suits him, although he will never admit it directly.

    interior of the movie Gone GirlFilm frame

    “That’s how everyone lives – they quarrel, they dream of killing each other, they wash each other’s bones,” the film sums up.

    To agree with this judgment or not is a personal matter for everyone.

    Load of parental love

    The main character’s parents are the authors of the popular Super Amy series of children’s books. These are stories about a kind of ideal, talented, beautiful girl who succeeds in everything. The prototype Super Amy is the real Amy. Parents adore and are proud of their daughter, and she says with wistful irony: “Super Amy is always one step ahead of me.”

    The heroine herself is not very successful: neither she nor her husband have a normal job, her ambitions are not realized, and all her glory happened only because of her parents’ books. This discrepancy, the need to “catch up” with her book character slowly drives her crazy.

    So the film shows the age-old problem of fathers and children. When parents expect only victory and 100% success from a child, it is very difficult for a child: they have to live a life that is not their own.

    media

    Obviously, without the active action of the media, the plot of the film simply would not have taken place. Due to the fact that Amy is a public figure, journalists made a sensation out of her disappearance, they were on duty under the windows of their house for days, almost the whole country followed the trial. If it was an unknown couple, journalists would not be interested in their story. But it so happened that the loss of Amy became a sensation, and Nick became the object of general gossip.

    In the film, the behavior of journalists is shown as hypertrophied as possible. In the news bulletins, the presenter brutally insults Nick when she thinks he is the killer. When her opinion changes, he just as biasedly says that he is not guilty of anything. Journalists don’t act like that on real TV.

    This media caricature shows us how the media has a detrimental effect on human life: how easily they mislead viewers, and how recklessly they pass judgment on the guilty and the innocent.

    Protagonist with journalistsFilm frame

    Ending: the meaning and options for the development of the plot

    The end of the film sends the viewer back to its beginning: the plot is looped. The couple, as it were, “quarreled and calmed down.” Obviously, after such a “quarrel” the couple’s life will never be the same. Amy, who never wanted children, became pregnant to spite Nick; Nick is afraid that she could kill him at any moment; most likely, she is hatching the next plan for revenge or murder …

    The finale of the film is very bitter, but open: the viewer can fantasize how their story will end. The options are like this:

  • Both will calm down, understand that they want to be together and go through some kind of family therapy;
  • Both will be silent until the end of their lives and live like on a powder keg, not knowing what to expect from their spouse;
  • The wife will soon kill the husband/child or put the husband in jail;
  • The husband will go crazy and decide to take revenge on his wife too.
  • A feeling of melancholy and hopelessness, disappointment in marriage, a nervous grin with the thought “It’s good that we are normal” – this film can evoke such variants of emotions. It makes you think about life and relationships – yes, in such a strange way.

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