Adapting the Page / Bookish Discussions

Adapting the Page: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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I usually do “Books to Movies” as a Friday Feature but didn’t get a sitter until Friday night and I was so drained I wasn’t going to post this at midnight last night.

Gone Girl opened in most theaters this weekend and it was one of the most talked about books of 2012. Here’s my original review of the book that I absolutely loved. ALL. OF. IT. Even the ending, which I didn’t love at first. Shannon at River City Reading perfectly defends the ending of both book and movie adaptation. So, yes, I must weigh in also.

From my original book review, you will see that I was/am a huge fan of Gillian Flynn. This was the first book I read of hers and was speechless. I immediately went to my library and reserved everything by her and was thoroughly pleased with her similar style throughout all three. Gone Girl was talked about because it had the big twist. But what drew me in and kept me there was the hauntingly stunning characterization. And the best part of the book (to me)? The “cool girl” speech. I cheered while reading that part. Feel good, inspirational books are fabulous but give me a dark, messed up character with flaws galore and a psychological mind f—k and I’m weirdly riveted.

I was both excited and scared for the movie adaptation. I heard some rumors that the ending was changed and I couldn’t possibly figure out how they would change it. I didn’t like the ending of the book at first but once I calmed down and let it simmer a bit, it was the only ending for these two awful people.

So, the movie? After the hundreds of previews (it was crazy how many previews this movie had) I don’t think I moved in my seat once. Except for the Desi scene, to cover my eyes, which was much more brutal on the big screen. Nasty!!

Ben Affleck was the perfect Nick Dunne, yet I didn’t feel like they revealed enough of his dysfunctional contribution to the fallout of the marriage. On the screen it played out like he was the victim. And he was more or less, but in the book I felt like they were equally disturbed. Well, maybe Amy was a hair more with all the plotting, murdering, scheming and such. I could feel the men (including my husband) around me side glace their girlfriend/wife when Amy’s crazy was revealed. Hee, hee, hee.

I didn’t love Rosamund Pike at first as Amy. She felt so forced and almost waxy and stoic. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then again, once as the second part of the movie came into play, she was perfect. The “cool girl” inner speech in the car on the big screen was just as I hoped it would be. Revealing and empowering. I felt giddy and maybe smiled too big. Maybe that’s why I got the nervous side glance.

Final thought: I LOVED BOTH! The ending is not what was rumored to be. Changed, that is. If you are a stickler for parts of books that are not represented on film, read this article from The Huffington Post about the specific changes. I read this article before and after watching the movie and the changes didn’t bother me one bit. Maybe it’s because two years have passed since reading the book. Maybe it’s because I’m just not that nit picky of a person. But I really think it’s because the original book was approached and executed very well in the hands of great actors, amazing director David Fincher with input and a screen adaptation form the very talented Gillian Flynn.

What do you think of the book v. movie?

If you didn’t read the book, what did you think of the movie?

2 thoughts on “Adapting the Page: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

  1. I loved the book. Amazing Amy has got to be one of the most interesting characters ever written, even if she is not exactly likeable. Haven’t seen the movie, since I hardly go to the theaters anymore. I get almost all my viewing from Netflix these days. I do want to see the movie, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up. In the past, when I read the book first, I was usually disappointed by the movie. I guess I tend to be biased toward what I experience first.

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