*spoilers of flynn and fincher’s ‘gone girl’*
it’s liberating to be a villain. and we don’t see enough female villains. these days we’re even subverting villains into victims. all these fairy tales being revised so monsters are just misunderstood. (there has to be a saving grace. you can’t just decide to crash a party and in a fit of pique, curse the bday celebrant. not done. gotta be a motive and a back-story.) makes you miss real villains.
that’s why i like gone girl. it’s undoubtedly cynical. and definitely, staged. but i love that it unapologetically relishes villainy. even pokes fun at it (that ‘villainous chin’ dig). spreads it around too. the movie does one over the book by keeping the dysfunction and leaving the likeable characters behind (nick’s mum, tanner bolt’s wife). we’re left with the dregs of humanity. and they have a freaky ball.
(plus there’s an additional villain: media and the story-addicted masses. it’s the revenge of the celebrity: media is always the enemy 😛 or the beast u have to feed to be a rabid ally. play with em, engage, or else.)
yep, the most likeable character in the movie isn’t boney or bolt or go, it’s the cat. coz the cat does not give a flying pake. (book cat gives a flying pake, and makes amy a shade more relatable too. movie cat is really just a cat. minding the cat’s own.)
but back to amy, coz she’s the one i’m really into. and fine, nick. they seem to be demonstrating that we’re all caught in this web where we’re supposed to play our parts, yes? and amy, she just wants her partner not to drop the ball. keep up the pretense. let her be the heroine. or at least the version she wants the world to see. it takes an awful lot of work and she just wants to be appreciated.
sickos want to be loved, too. on their own terms.
what struck me about the book most isn’t the revenge fantasy (altho i loved that), it’s this notion of being a facsimile of a person. of shaping yourself. of being obsessive about that image. isn’t personality all about the ego? amy isn’t a creation of her parents, she’s not a reflection of nick (despite the “cool girl” schtick), she’s self-made, self-actualized, very much her own person. and she does NOT want you to fuck with that. don’t mess with her scene.
so yeah, i’d pick box cutter over icepick. basic instinct tells a story about a fucked up woman with a very bad habit. what’s her damage? that’s just it, she’s damaged. amy is not invincible, but less vulnerable than the doc. she’s the snake in your bed. charm her, pet her, dance with her, let her wind around your naked body, but don’t piss her off.
film was funnier than the book. but it did a great job at interpreting the book. i also got a bit more that notion of nick’s to stay, not bcoz he was scared (of the potential consequences of an escape attempt), but because he “felt sorry” for amy, “because every day you have to wake up and be you.” (at least, that’s what he says. what’s suggested and what he does not admit to, but his other half/twin articulates, is that he WANTS to stay. he’s mesmerized by the snake. and maybe, as amy accuses, he’s a real player in her presence. he likes his own projection with amy, a ‘partner in crime’ or at least illusion.)
despite its obsession with media crucifixions, the movie made this passage i liked come alive:
“I can’t recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn’t immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeen it. I’ve literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can’t anymore. I don’t know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.
It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.”
all scripted, baby.