10 November 2014

What Are You Thinking?

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Relationships are a tricky thing to balance. It's all about consideration, compromise and not laughing in your partners fucking face when they say something stupid. Believe it or not but I had a girlfriend once and she used to come out with some right shit. There was this one time that she was awake at like 2 o' clock in the morning and so I said, "you're up late" to which she genuinely responded with, "I'm a plate?" Anyway she was a raving psychopath as it turned out and so her undeniable stupidity at least wasn't her worst trait. I won't go into the details except to say that her subsequent actions near the end of our relationship left me somewhat damaged and for at least a year I became I massive raging sexist. "Why would anybody want to go near girls?" I'd wonder to myself as I'd scratch out the eyes of women in fashion magazines. I've gotten better since then and, although women still insist on trampling all over my heart like they're using it to get dog shit off their shoe, I've come to a new conclusion. Women aren't as evil as I at one point suspected but rather they're a completely different species. I don't think either of us are bad, it's just that we think on a slightly different wavelength. Then again, I have female friends that I love so maybe it's just my taste in people I want to bang. I'm still single now so if you're around my age, nice looking and totally fucking deranged then give me a shout.
With all that in mind, I think it's a good job that I watched Gone Girl now and not when I had my break-up with the nutcase. The film tells the story of Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as they celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. Well, I say celebrate... he's sitting alone in a bar and she seems to have been kidnapped or murdered. Everyone celebrates in their own way I suppose and even this has more romance to it than anything my parents ever did for theirs... Unless you count the time my Dad bought my Mum a Wallace and Gromit T-shirt from a petrol station at last minute. When Affleck notices his wife gone and the house smashed up he calls the police who turn up and start looking for her. Affleck goes on television to appeal for her return as the media judge him so harshly that you'd think he'd done something truly evil like actually murdered his wife or, worse still, decided to play Batman. At the same time that we see this however, the film's nonlinear story shows us what his wife was actually going through prior to her disappearance. Turns out she's been keeping a diary of her life documenting everything from the day she met her husband to the day he threw her against the floor. I love a good rom-com! As she goes about her days, we hear the diary read out through voice over and so I'd like to say that it kind of reminded me of a sort of Sex And The City for psychopaths, but then I'm pretty sure that's exactly what Sex And The City 2 was anyway.

So yeah, for anybody whose not seen the film, I'll tell you right now that it was genuinely brilliant. It's got twists every few minutes and kept me so far on the edge of my seat that had I been an old droopy man, my testicles would have well and truly been on the floor. The performances are all great too which is a relief considering it stars the leads from Pearl Harbour and Die Another Day and is directed by the man responsible for Alien 3. Obviously I'm only joking and it should be more than obvious that the people involved are as great as we know them to be. Since becoming a director, Affleck has really been excelling for me and I'll talk a little more about Rosamund Pike in a minute. Perhaps as expected though, Fincher is the person who shines the brightest  by crafting this thriller which is so tight that it could fit through a slugs anus without even touching the slime. For a man known for his cinematic directorial ticks such as passing a camera through a wall or somebody's brain, he does show some restraint here which is perhaps for the best. There's enough for the audience to take in, in terms of plot, that perhaps having the camera glide indulgently through a solid object might be too much. Having said that, there is at least one frame of this film that features Ben Affleck's cock so, having seen Fight Club, this was still identifiable as a Fincher film.

In terms of what we can compare this to, I'd say we're looking more at The Game or Panic Room than we are Se7en or Zodiac. I wasn't kidding either when I mentioned the rom-com as Gone Girl has some really funny moments in it. I don't know about you but where romance is concerned, I certainly relate more to a smashed up house and psychological manipulation than anything Hugh Grant has ever done. What I wasn't expecting though was this bizarre kind of Lynchian feel that seemed to be running through the film. Like Lynch, Fincher seems to enjoy presenting us with clichéd suburban images of happiness before twisting them into something much darker. In Blue Velvet we have the insects going insane under the grass and here we have a white picket fence, confusion, and a shit load of blood. The soundtrack was again done by regular Fincher collaborator Trent Reznor who has decided to give it a kind of dreamy techno feel that wouldn't be out of place in Lost Highway. Then again, Lost Highway is so fucking weird that a talking turd with a soft spot for karaoke wouldn't seem out of place there.

Anyway, so the film is good. If you haven't seen it then go away now because I'm going to start going into spoilers. Are you still here? I hope not because fuck me his wife was mental wasn't she?! As the film progresses we find out that she's a right old headcase which, a few years ago, is what I thought they were. Do you remember that spiel at the beginning about me being once sexist? This is where it becomes relevant! She's manipulative, cunning, heartless and knows how to play on the world's interpretation of her. In some ways, this might seem like the most misogynistic film ever in that it presents its villain as a clichéd version of how sexists view women. However... now that I'm through my own "all women are crazy" phase, I have a different theory. I reckon this film is anti-sexist propaganda.

Firstly, it's written by a woman and based on her own book, which is one clue. So, either she knows what she's doing or she's filled with a bizarre kind of self-hatred for her own gender. Secondly, it's directed by Fincher who is clearly an intelligent man and also has a preoccupation with strong female characters. Alien 3, Panic Room and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo all feature women that are essentially a rapists greatest fantasy and worst reality. Even Fight Club is a satire on masculinity and the petty wittle fings dat we men worry about. Haven't you knocked anybodies teeth out in your life? Awe, bless! Anyway, my point is that despite Pike's demonic bitch possessing the qualities required to make it onto a sexist's poster campaign entitled "I told you so", perhaps that's exactly the point. I mean, she's so evil and so insane that surely even the most hardened woman hater is going to watch this and think, "you know what, fuck it, they aren't that bad in real life". The film has presented us with the most insane female ever and she's more like a fucking cyborg than anything with both tits and a human brain.

I'm not saying that I find Pike unbelievable either, by the way. I know I'm watching a film where characters are exaggerated to fit the genre. I believe her in this film as much as I believe Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal but I'd be fucking surprised to find somebody as dapper and face-chewy as him in real life. I suppose too she joins a small but memorable group of crazy female villains alongside Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. I'd say that she deserves to be in that list too thanks to her amazing performance but I haven't actually seen those other films so I suppose I can't really compare them. I mean, I've seen a bit of Basic Instinct obviously but not enough to judge Sharon Stone's quality of acting. I don't want to be crass and say it was 'the minge scene' that I saw so I'll leave it up to subtlety and common knowledge for you to work out which bit that was... but to be absolutely clear, it was the minge scene.

Anyway, so all of the above is why I think this film might not be as sexist as it might perhaps seem on paper. That and the fact that my favourite character in the whole thing wasn't Affleck or Pike but actually the female detective who is trying to solve the case of the disappearing wife. I can't remember the actresses name but she's played by the annoying whore in Deadwood. Anyway, even if she was annoying in that, she was genuinely great in this and I'd love to see what's-her-name do even more films as a result. Okay, fine, I googled it and her name is Kim Dickens. I liked her! Had she been given more screen-time, I think she might even have ranked alongside Marge Gunderson and Clarice Starling as a great female movie detective. But she wasn't, so for now at least she'll remain that whore from Deadwood to me. In fact, perhaps that's even my final point as to why this film isn't as sexist as it might initially seem. When you think of great roles for women as heroes and villains, there are literally only a handful. So although Pike's character is what I at one point suspected my ex-girlfriend to be, at least the women here actually have something to do beyond look pretty and own a fanny.

I guess that's all I've got to say about this film now. Some people had problems with the end because of how fucking weird it gets but that's exactly what I loved about it. I really wanted to see Affleck punch the freak's face in but I'm glad he didn't because at the same time, the film had spent two hours surprising me and it'd seem a shame if it had a predictable ending. Some people also didn't understand why Affleck felt like he should stick with his insane wife just because she's gotten pregnant. It's like what? Has he not heard of soapy water and coat hangers? I admit even this confused me a little however I have subsequently found out that it's because his character had such a shit father that he desperately wanted to be a good one. So once again, Pike's crazy bitch had played the game to manipulative perfection. This perhaps didn't play out in the film as well as it might have in the book but like I say, I just enjoyed how odd the end was. Plus at the end of the day, if I was Affleck, I think I'd still stay with Pike just on the off chance that she might have sex with me again. I know she's a psycho-killer but she's fit and I've been single for so long now that it'd be more than worth the risk. Anyway, thanks for reading motherfuckers and see you next time.

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