This post contains spoilers.
GONE GIRL has been in the year’s must-watch list of every movie blogger I know. There are many factors behind that fact, but the foremost would be the director. David Fincher, of course. One of the best living director, Fincher stands solidly in his ‘playground’—this mystery-thriller genre—so it’s no doubt that people are gonna see what else Fincher is gonna do in this brand new mystery movie. The ‘Fincher effect’, I might call it.
But is David Fincher the only guarantee? Of course not. The book the movie based on is a best-selling, distinctively-penned story from an out-of-the-blue, rather unrecognized (female!) author: Gillian Flynn. (Yeah people said the book is quite popular, perhaps it’s just me haven’t heard of it or her, lol). That would be the other guarantee.
But when we talk about the movie itself, we cannot disagree to talk about the cast, too.
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are the frontliners. They, Nick Dunne and Amy Dunne, are where everything is revolving around. The book has so many (too many!) characters involved but they won’t make a good ensemble cast because, like I said, everything goes back to the two leading characters. The power of two actors playing the lead will decide if this book-to-movie adaptation works.
I’m gonna compare each and every character mentioned in the book (well, not entirely; only 6 characters with significant part to the story) with the actors playing him or her.
But, before we get into it:
Who’s missing? I mean, which characters are in the book but not listed in the cast (according to IMDb)?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I remembered Tanner Bolt’s wife, Betsy, who’s in at least one or two scene in the book. There is no Betsy listed in the character list, although her presence will solidify Tanner’s existence as part of the story.
Second, Rebecca. He owns the Whodunit blog, and I’m surprised that although her part could be just skipped, I think her interviewing Nick while he’s drunk is a bit essential for the media frenzy around the ending of the story.
Third and the most surprising, Hilary Handy. Where is she? Funny because she becomes one of the most important proofs for Nick. So Tommy O’Hara would be the only backup story? This is interesting.
Now, let’s do the comparing
Too bad that I read the book after all actors playing the lead roles were announced so it’s just hard to visualize the characters from the book other than the characteristics of the actors themselves. But here’s my thinking:
(legend: black textbox: the actor's name, white textbox: the character's name)
Nick is nice, Irish, handsome. Baby of the family. Big penis (really, it’s mentioned in the book!). And Ben Affleck? I think we need someone with a combination of good guy and bad guy. Ben could be a writer, a son of a troubled dad, raised in a broken family. But he seems too nice. Too innocent. I can’t imagine he’s a cheating husband, and I’m afraid it’ll distract the viewer’s impression of him being guilty (which is supposed to be built early in the film), and it’ll cancel every (wrong) assumption made from the ‘I did not kill my wife; I am not a murderer’ line delivered by the ending of the movie trailer.
How perfect is he for the role? 60%, I guess.
It’ll be a real challenge for Rosamund Pike to show the unexpected character development as it’s demanded in the book. She’ll be a total ‘troubled wife’, which for me is gonna be a surprise. She even prepares her role by practicing boxing. Amy is so New Yorky, so modern, and I thought some ‘American’ actresses will work better for Amy than Pike (who is British). I think of... Nicole Kidman? But, yeah, I just want to see a tour-de-force performance of Pike. I want a devilish look of her!
How perfect is she for the role? 85%, exactly.
He is definitely the guy we want. NPH is the one. Either him or Justin Timberlake. The kind of ‘suit up!’ guy with obsession and possessiveness and also weakness. But I hate Justin already (oops, sorry!). He’ll be stereotyped for the kind of role. So NPH is just a perfect choice. Will the sex-turned-rape scene be included in the film? Oh yeah please; NPH please kills the ladies! How he’ll start as an admirer then a sinner and finally a victim (and also the accused!) will be the key to bring us the thrill we want.
How perfect is he for the role? 120%, if you allow me.
I don’t know who Carrie Coon is. Seriously. Perhaps she mostly appears on TV? She’s mytwingo, she’s Nick’s twin sister. Does she look like Ben Affleck? In the trailer she mostly appears with glasses (I can’t really remember if Go Dunne wears glasses or not). But judging from the video only, she can make a good choice.
How perfect is she for the role? 75%, that’s pure guess.
I hate these blurred lines: she is hot, she is unconvincing. But Fincher wants someone that tears male and female viewers into divisive opinions. “She is despicable, but she has her points”. For that, I am convinced: she’s a newbie but she deserves a try. Still, I am wondering what kind of ‘bad romance’ she’ll have with Ben Affleck. They already seem like teacher-and-student, that’s great, and my final question would be: will there be any more boobies? :P Let’s just give the young girl a try. P.S: Google-image her. You’re welcome.
How perfect is she for the role? 55%, a tryout.
Really? I remembered that it wasn’t specifically mentioned if Tanner is an African-American (or I forgot about it?), and I’m not being racist here, but analyzing him for his role only by physical measures, he is suitable. I mean, he’s big, he wears glasses, he’s the kind of guy who’ll get things done. It’s just... maybe if you’re a fan (of his comedies), it’ll take time to you to adapt that he’s a lawyer now, not some unfunny comedians.
How perfect is he for the role? 45%, below average.
The last thing...
Fincher isn’t the kind of filmmaker with obsession towards a jumble of big stars for his ensemble cast. Most of his films perhaps have only three until four popular actors for leading and supporting roles, the rest is lesser known. And GONE GIRL is not any different. I want to discuss more character-actor comparisons, like Det. Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens), Det. Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit), Ellen Abbott (Missi Pyle), and all, but they haven’t been in my radar. I barely know them (too bad, me).
Readers, what do you think? Is the cast a perfect choice, or do you think of some alternatives? Come on, share your opinion in the comment box below! We’ll talk about the story in my next post. This is gonna be fun!