On Oct. 6, 2014 David Cox of The Guardian published an article describing how detrimental the newest David Fincher movie Gone Girl is to the growing positive depiction of females in today’s media. David Cox points out in his article that “Gone Girl revamps gender stereotypes- for the worse,” stating that everything could be seen as negative in the new film starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. He makes the leading character, Amy, into everything that defines bad stereotypes about women, and looks right past everything that would make this film a giant leap forward for all of womankind as well as for the image of women. Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
The previews kept the storyline in the film, even the main point of it, completely under wraps. With the previews that were shown, I could see how someone might think that this was a story of a victimized woman and her possibly abusive, alleged murderer husband who is targeted as the lead suspect in her disappearance. Honestly, with how different of a turn the actual movie took, I’m surprised that it was received so well as it completely changed genres mid-film. But hey, that’s the David Fincher way, having previously directed things such as Fight Club and Seven. In reality, the viewer gets a film where the woman takes charge and control in the absolutely craziest way possible, and gets everything that she wants.
Faking her own murder to get away from a cheating husband and framing him as a form of revenge, Pike’s character Amy proves that she will not be a victim from the first time we see her in the present (the movie jumps from present to past throughout). She shows herself at first as simply a genius who did what she deemed was right to teach her husband, who broke his vow to her, a lesson. As the film goes on, the audience sees more through the mind work that went into this scheme, mind work that is usually seen in men in the media. When Amy proves that she is willing to do anything to get what she wants, the film takes a turn into something similar to American Psycho starring Christian Bale. True, that this may fuel the fires of the crazy-scored woman image (hell hath no fury…) that previous films have created. I feel that it also shows that women are not always the victim, but the man can be the victim as well.
Throughout the film Amy leaves more and more men in her wake, creating more victims. Actually, the only woman who is possibly ever seen in the light of the weaker sex is Affleck’s twin sister, played by Carrie Coon, and that is only briefly. The women run the show. With Amy as its center, other women, such as the news anchor, seems to have the ability to sway the entire town’s opinion of Affleck’s character. The head of the police department has the final say over if he will be arrested or not, despite the fact her male partner is convinced of Affleck’s guilt. Through her acts of power and dominance over everyone around her, Amy is even able to have her husband cower in fear of her. How could this possibly be bad for the female image? Unless your opinion of bad means breaking the “poor little me” image of the dainty woman who needs a man, this movie did a great job at showing equality in all things male and female: insanity, self-respect and the ability to gain power.
Article by Krista Skweres