Gone Girl: Book or Movie? (POTENTIAL SPOILERS)

I was very much absorbed in all things Gone Girl the past couple weeks so I wanted to share some thoughts on it. I have not long finished the book and was lucky enough to see the film last week when it first came out.  Just a quick disclaimer: I do not disclose the major plot twist but have discussed minor details that some may find a spoiler

The Book: I purchased the book quite some time ago and like the other 50 million books in my cupboard, it took me a while to start reading it. I very much conform to others in regards to popular culture so reading Gone Girl quickly became a no brainer. It was becoming so popular that even Piper Chapman was reading it in Orange Is The New Black!

In all honestly, I started the book a couple of times over before I really got into it. If I am not immersed in a book/TV show/film straight away, I struggle to continue with it. I began reading Gone Girl in short spurts during lunch breaks but soon found myself craving to read it for longer periods of time. If you are unfamiliar with Gone Girl, it is focused on married couple Nick and Amy Dunne whose lives take a turn when Amy disappears very early on in the story. The reader is left to question what exactly happened to her and even consider if Nick himself may have had something to do with his wife's disappearance. The novel interestingly switches between both Nick and Amy's POV with Nick narrating the story in the present and Amy narrating the story in the past through her diary entries. 

The story contains many plot twists that keep the reader interested the whole way through. I personally was spoiled in regards to how Amy disappeared so I feel this part was not as exciting as it should of been. It did however encourage me to keep reading as I was intrigued to see the reasons behind it. I have to say though that the character of Amy is an absolute genius in her expert planning and maybe also a little psychotic at the same time. Regardless, I admire Amy for her sense of humour and I have always gravitated to the more villainous character even from a young age. Flynn writes in such way that gradually reveals the layers of Amy's character which show the type of person she really is.  Nick too is a very complex character that I think is similarly revealed to the reader as we initially sympathise with him until we learn more about his shady side.

One aspect of the book that I found was excellent was how the story back tracked on itself to provide the reader with more information regarding the events around Amy's disappearance. I will say no more than: security alarm in Nick's Dad's house! I read online that many were disappointed in the end of the novel and I do agree to some extent. I was expecting something more dramatic and I felt like the book just gradually wound down before it ended all of a sudden. I even turned the page a few times to check there wasn't any more! Upon reflection of the ending, I think it was powerful and clever in a way but I would of liked to have seen something more exciting. It is difficult to discuss exactly how I feel about this story without spoiling it completely and it is a really great read so it would be so mean of me to do that!

The Film: I would describe the film version in two words: very long. Other than that it was honestly really great! I was very excited to see it at an advance screening and I am so glad that I was not disappointed. I am not a Ben Affleck fan so was rather underwhelmed when I saw he was cast as Nick Dunne but I actually really liked his portrayal of the character. I had never seen Rosamund Pike in anything before and thought her performance as Amy was excellent too. Amy was just as creepy on screen as I imagined her on the page. Her voice really creeped me out in particular, did anyone else feel this way? I also want to mention Carrie Coon as Margo Dunne, I thought she was fantastic and acted just like I had imagined her.

The only issue I had with the film was the level of detail. I feel that the written story contributed so much more that could not be explained in two and half hours on screen. I saw the film with my Mum who had not even heard of Gone Girl before I showed her the trailer so I think the experience was enhanced for me by knowing more about the characters etc. I like learning more about my favourite shows and such things so maybe that's just me being a little bit geeky. I don't think for a second that anyone could not enjoy the film if they had not read the book though as stands very much alone as a separate adaptation. I had no doubts that the film  would not be faithful to the book as the screenplay was adapted by Gillian Flynn herself. I felt the film followed the book very closely until towards the end when it  began to differ slightly. 

In regards to the ending, I felt like it was exactly the same as the book ending suddenly with little explanation. After hearing that the ending was changed in the film, I hoped for the expectations I had of the book but was yet again disappointed. It was not all bad however, I loved how they linked it back to the beginning of the film. I think the deeper meaning may serve more in this instance, almost to say that they went through this whole ordeal to end up where they started? 

Final thoughts: I would probably say I enjoyed the book more as I think you can imagine more from a story on the written page. The level of detail was a big issue for me as the book is so clever and intricate in parts that I felt did not portray as exceptionally on screen. I also felt the film was quite long for its nature as there was not a lot of exciting action happening on screen like you would see in a Harry Potter film for example. The film is fantastic though and whether you intend to read the novel or not, I highly recommend you go see it. 

Here is the trailer for the film if you are interested and I'd love if you would like to share any thoughts on Gone Girl in the comments!

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