Pike pulls off a slick whodunit

Gone Girl starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck. Photo: PA Photo/Fox UK Film
Gone Girl starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck. Photo: PA Photo/Fox UK Film

If, like me, you haven’t read Gillian Flynn’s psychological thriller Gone Girl and you know nothing of the serpentine twists that propelled it to be a bestseller then jealously guard your cluelessness.

There’s an undeniable delight watching Flynn wrong-foot us with this spiky satire on media manipulation and the glossy facade of celebrity marriages.

When the central characters promise to love, honour and obey, till death do them part, one of them takes that vow very seriously.

Admittedly, you have to dig deep beneath the surface of David Fincher’s polished film to find the jet black humour but it’s there, walking hand-in-hand with sadism and torture that propel the narrative towards its unconventional denouement.

The Gone Girl film is distinguished by a career-best performance from Rosamund Pike as the pretty wife, who vanishes without trace and is presumed dead at the hands of her handsome husband (Ben Affleck). This is a slick yet slightly underwhelming whodunit that doesn’t quite scale the dizzy heights of shock and suspense previously achieved by Jagged Edge, The Usual Suspects or indeed, Fincher’s own 2005 film, Se7en.