**WARNING: This post isn’t intended as a review and so does contain spoilers for the book and film – if you haven’t read/seen it yet, you might want to check out my review of the book instead HERE**
First mention goes to Rosamund Pike, who I thought was the perfect Amy. She’s obviously gorgeous and looks exactly how I imagined Amy but, more importantly, I was genuinely impressed by how completely believable she was as a psychopath. During the second half, she does an amazing job of coming completely unravelled. Not only does her appearance change entirely, her mannerisms and expressions are different to Diary Amy and she becomes genuinely disturbing. Pike basically made this film for me and I could write a whole post about how wonderful I now think she is but you’re lucky – I won’t.
I wasn’t sure how Amy’s diary entries would work but the flashbacks do. There weren’t quite as many as I’d have liked so it doesn’t quite push home just how destructive Nick and Amy are as a couple in their later years but they were worked in well.
I think my main gripe was that Ben Affleck is just a bit too likeable. I don’t know if it’s because I had such a gut-wrenching, anger-filled reaction to the Nick of the book or because I just think of Ben Affleck as a Good Guy but whatever the reason, he came across as too charming. The nonchalance and the adultery are still there but there’s not as much about the “fall” from working writer to frustrated, cheating failing bar owner and how much he resents Amy and is just as responsible for their situation as she is. He was a good Nick and that inappropriate reaction thing that Nick has in the book was nailed but he wasn’t the perfect Nick. Although he’s obviously wonderfully handsome so I’m really not complaining overly much.
All told, I really was a fan, thankfully. What was more interesting for me, though, was Andy’s (writing ‘Boyfriend’ over and over will become tiresome and look daft and most of you know his name anyway so there you have it…) views on the film (as someone who hasn’t read the book) and whether seeing the film “blind” had the same effect as reading the book for the first time. Andy had no idea that there even was a twist because I was super careful not to mention it at all so that he could be a proper test subject. Even so, he did whisper about 10 minutes before the turning point, “Either t’s the sister or she’s faked her own death”, apparently for no reason other than it all seemed a bit weird and they were the only explanations he could think of. So there wasn’t that great moment where I could watch smugly while he was gawping but never mind…interestingly, he apparently didn’t believe that Nick Dunne was the murderer at any point so maybe if the film does have a failing for those watching it for a reason other than to see how it stacks up against the book it’s that it doesn’t seem to create the question mark over Nick that the book does.
Andy was also not a fan of the ending and I think it ties up with my perception of Nick as not quite coming across as a bad enough guy. When I read the book, I kind of felt as though they both got the ending that they deserved. In the film, I really felt as though Nick was hard done by. He also had an anal point about her not turning up with a head wound despite her story including being hit on the head with a great big chunk of wood but whatever.
There were a couple of things that I think the film actually did better – the media, in particular. The film really made the media and it’s ever-changing portrayal of the saga look ridiculous and it was a canny commentary on how ludicrous some modern ‘journalism’ can be.
Verdict: A truly decent adaptation of a book that I really liked. As someone who has read the book, I still enjoyed it. As someone who hasn’t read the book, Andy enjoyed it. Clearly it works for everyone! It’s graphic and dark and very much for grown ups and it’s every bit as worryingly fabulous as the book. You might want to get around to watching it.
Have you seen it, have you seen it?! Tell me what you thought! If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the trailer and get on it!