Gone Girl Means “Cool Girl”?

Movie Review Blog

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The film Gone Girl is about the female protagonist, Amy disappears on the day of her wedding anniversary. She did a lot things to convince people that her husband Nick murdered her, including purchasing a gun as the evidence of a struggle, faked a pregnancy and fabricated a diary that she is afraid of him. The reason is that she is betrayed by Nick, he has a mistress. Also, Amy changed her appearance, name and became a “cool girl”. She hides in a distant place for a while. Afterwards, she contacted ex-boyfriend Desi and lived in his lake house. However, she changed her mind when she watched the talk show of Nick on TV. She decided to clear Nick of suspicion. So she used the surveillance cameras to appear that Desi kidnapped and abused her. Then, she killed Desi as legitimate self-defense. After that, she gets back home. She tells Nick the truth, Nick wants to leave her and expose her lies, but she is pregnant by doing artificial insemination with Nick’s sperm. Nick has the responsibility for the child, so he has no choice. They remain married and pretend to be happy. In this case, I doubt the usage of “cool girl” in this film. If to be a “cool girl” equals to kill people, deceive others, is that still cool?

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This film is directed by David Fincher and also adopted by Gillian Flynn, who is the author of the novel of the same name. The genre of this film includes drama, thriller and mystery. For the use of genre conventions, firstly it uses “plot twist”to make a dramatic change in the expected direction of this film. For instance, Amy killed Desi which is unexpected. Moreover, Amy and Nick finally live together again. The surprising ending really represents a genre of drama. Second, there are bloody scenes in this film, which are always used by thrillers. Especially for the scene that Amy slits Desi’s throat with a box cutter, it is creepy. In addition, the genre of mystery embodies in the “treasure hunt” game that is played by Amy and Nick on their anniversary. There are clues, for the evidence that planted by Amy to against Nick. Furthermore, the diary is a mysterious object due to the privacy in it.

This film represents men as a betrayer(Nick), lamentable who is capitalized on by the woman he loves, rich but vulnerable(Desi). Conversely, the female protagonist, Amy is represented as a “cool girl” who is clever, bold and needs sympathy as well. Besides, these characters are all heterosexual. To my surprise, Amy does not change herself into homosexuality after the betrayal of Nick. She is disappointed with her marriage, she even wants to commit suicide. In this situation, I would consider that she may lose confidence of love and particularly men. Her transformation for revenge is to become a “cool girl”. In my opinion, a “cool girl” is easy to be homosexual, because cool somewhat means unusual. Otherwise, Amy’s transformation can be related to the makeover paradigm of postfeminism. The makeover “requires people (predominant women) to believe, first, that they or their life is lacking or flawed in some way; second, that it is amenable to reinvention or transformation by following the advice of relationship, design or lifestyle experts and practicing appropriately modified consumption habits”.(Rosalind Gill, 156) At first, Amy realizes her flawed marriage. Secondly, she knew Nick wanted a “cool girl.” She wants to try some behaviors of “cool girl”, like drinking canned beers and so forth. The most important thing is that she seemingly enjoys this kind of makeover.
The dominant race is apparently Caucasian in this film, no matter male or female protagonists. They are all white. The only black person I can remember is Nick’s attorney whose name is Tanner in this film. In general, the story is based on upper class people.
The female gaze predominantly embodies in the female protagonist Amy. For example, her body in lingerie when she seduces Desi. She is beautiful and sexy, she is also an attractive character in this film.
Nevertheless, this film does a pretty good creating thriller. The female protagonist is not a ghost or something like that, but she makes the audience feel scared. I feel like that there is always something behind her smile. Although the betrayal of Nick makes her become evil. Her revenge is too extreme. She would rather torture Nick than simply end his life. Her mind is already twisted, she even killed who deeply in love with her.
I admit that her abnormal behavior is much cooler than normal girls. However, I have to say that she may not be cool any more, she is more likely to be cruel. To be cool is a good thing most of the time, but if a person is cruel, will you think it means good? When I saw Amy at first sight in this film, I thought she was a charming character. Despite her look does not change much between the very beginning and the end of this film. I can no longer use any good word to describe her. Her every smile makes me feel creepy. She is just like a smiling devil.
In my opinion, “cool girl” is a positive adjective for women. Women are culturally seen as weak and vulnerable in the society. However, to be a “cool girl” makes women brave, tough. So that they would not be inferior to men. “Cool girl” can talk football as well as a man, they do things that girls may not normally do. The definition of a “cool girl” is not based on a girl herself or only her appearance, it is more likely on the basis of a girl’s cool behavior.
The name of this film seems a pun. On the one hand, “gone girl” indicates Amy’s disappear at the beginning. On the other hand, it may imply she changed herself a lot, so her original self is gone. She changes her from a girl to a “cool girl” who is too “cool.” When the “cool” is over expressed, it is not just “cool.” In fact, I do not think she or her behavior still attributes to “cool girl.” This film subverts my perception of “cool girl”, I would like to try to do some “cool girl” things before. Now, I am a little afraid of this kind of “cool girl”, either for being a “cool girl” or someone is a “cool girl.”
Thinking more in depth, Amy’s twisted mind may also be caused by her parents. They create an “Amazing Amy” and plan her life. They do not really care about her thoughts. Because of her family, she may not change from good to evil. It is possible that she has the splitting of personality.

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I watched this film with my friends in the theater of Mall of America. It was not a movie premiere. Nonetheless, there are not so many people. There are lots of restaurants around the theater. It is okay to buy food or drinks, because there is no sudden shot of horror in this film. Most of the time, audiences were quiet or whispered in each other. Except for the scene that Amy was killing Desi, some audiences screamed. It is not a 3D movie, if I watched at home, I might not completely turn into the plots.
In conclusion, this film successfully makes audiences’ blood run cold by creating the psychological fear. For instance, the close-up shot of Amy’s “smile” in this film. The psychological fear is even more creepy than any superficial thriller.It is fantastic that the more times you think about this film, the more horrible you may feel.Hence, maybe this is the real horror.It is unbelievable that to be a“cool girl”could be such creepy.

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