Gone Girl & The Art of Book-to-Film Adaptations

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I had been looking forward to the weekend of October 3rd, 2014 for quite some time. David Fincher’s latest movie Gone Girl, an adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel of the same name, was scheduled to come out. As you may or may not know, David Fincher is sort of the king of book-to-film adaptations: Fight Club (1999), Zodiac (2007), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010), just to name a few. Naturally, having read the novel and being the film aficionado that I am, I went out and bought a late afternoon ticket to his latest work.

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First let me state that David Fincher did an incredible job with staying true to the book, most likely due to the fact that Gillian Flynn herself penned the screenplay. Second, Ben Affleck is really bouncing back from his J. Lo & Gigli days that we’d all love to forget about. His performance was fantastic, perhaps only one-upped by his co-star Rosamund Pike who delivers a chilling and convincing turn as the “Gone Girl” herself. The supporting cast sports the likes of Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, and Emily Ratajkowski of “Blurred Lines” fame. Not too shabby.

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The novel had already ruined my life, so I thought I was well prepared for what was to come in the following 2.5 hours. Basically, I was wrong. There’s just something about taking text and transferring it into visual form that puts an entirely new look on things. Perhaps it’s the outside influence of the director, the newly crafted images we have of our characters when they might look different than we had initially imagined, or the experience of just seeing it all instead of reading it. This is not in the slightest meant to knock books or literature; I have a passion for reading and it’s the fuel for a majority of the visual product we have today. I’m usually the type of person to refuse to watch a film before I read the novel it is based on first. But taking a novel and turning it into a film has some sort of profound effect that can’t immediately be explained. Film adds a whole new dimension to the story.

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Forgive me for my very plebeian attempt to analyze what goes on with book-to-film adaptations, and for literally telling you nothing about Gone Girl other than that the people behind it did a good job. I implore you to take the time to read Gillian Flynn’s novel, and to go see David Fincher’s movie in theaters. It’s well worth your time. You will probably question if anything you’ve experienced in life is true. Because of this story, I don’t think I ever want to marry anyone ever. EVER. Or even date anyone for that matter. But if we’re all as bat-shit crazy as this story says we are (some bat-shittier than others), maybe we all deserve each other? You can answer that for yourself when you read the book and see the movie. So go do it. I want to know what your thoughts are.

-Brian Sacripanti

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