Gone Girl takes place on the fifth anniversary of Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike), wherein Nick comes home to find unsettling signs of a struggle and a missing wife. Is he responsible for her disappearance? Was their marriage as happy as others were led to believe? Was it unhappy enough to lead to violence?
The whodunnit of it is a very small portion of the actual movie. Gone Girl is a look at media, but is also an almost cautionary horror tale of the binds of marriage as well as how our perceptions of people can be ever-evolving, misleading, and transformative. Nick Dunne's role in the media is ever-changing in a reflection of how knowing one simple fact or having one opinion can lead us to a completely different outlook.
I'd like to say Affleck and Pike are at top form here (Pike especially is fantastic, giving credence to her clout as a leading lady finally), but I think a lot of the credit goes to Fincher's choice of actors. Affleck and Pike have always had those inscrutable facades that don't always work for them in movies, but here they add weight to the "still waters run deeper" phrase and provide a sort of pallet for the audience to project upon. We sympathize, we try to discern, and at times we're terrified by what we see.
The underlying motifs for Gone Girl, however, lie in our perception of others. How much of how we act is actually done in service to others or in the name of how we want to be seen? Gone Girl shows how characters constantly manipulate the media, but also how much the best and worst of ourselves are easily twisted by others.
Fincher's in top form here and although this movie clocks in at 2 and a half hours, the timing insinuates itself past your perception of it.
I'd actually love to write about this movie separately in a post that can give away plot points, but I need to gather some more coherence in my thoughts.