But even if Gone Girl is just sort of accidentally feminist, so what? The film is a bracing corrective to years of thrillers on screens both big and small that reduce their female characters to victims designed to die because they were the wrong kind of woman, or married the wrong kind of man (which was completely their fault, of course). They are bait, or objects to be protected, not characters in their own right. And even when these movies try to turn their female characters into something more, they tend to fetishize those characters’ suffering — as, ironically, happened in Fincher’s own Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. But Gone Girl is different. It takes a character who would just be a corpse in so many other stories and turns the entire movie over to her.
Even if Gone Girl is just sort of accidentally feminist, so what? The women in Gone Girl, like the women in too many movies, have had their agency taken, have been stripped of their power, by their husbands, or by their boyfriends, or by their parents, or by the system, or just by the horrible turns a life can take. But Amy refuses to accept this. She pushes back toward the center, and she takes what’s hers. (x)
Let’s talk about this, because I feel like it’s important that we address this issue. First of all, let me state that I hope that people all over the Tumblrverse will strive to be open-minded but yet also objective and striving towards the ending destination of what is truly right… I think that is the aim of most here and yet, ironically, I find people all over Tumblr standing up and attacking one side or another and they continue to get more and more hostile. We are only causing the pendulum to swing. We are not bringing life and understanding and fairness… We are inviting a grave over-correction. Now, I feel this important to address, not even so much specific to this post, but in our general understanding and processing of arguments or statements made all over here. Onward.
I feel very much that this excellent film is, in many ways, a fascinating companion to Fincher’s Fight Club. Gone Girl, like Fight Club, is a sort of commentary on multiple issues… In Gone Girl, they range from dangers in media to unhealthy ideas within marriage. But right now we are talking about the way it addresses the roles society places on women and the part they are “supposed to” play. And it’s not unlike the way that Fight Club addresses the roles that society places on men and the parts they are “supposed to” play. Just as Tyler preached in the blood stained cellars, Amy does while eating whatever she wants whenever she wants.
Both films break the stereotypes. They smash the status quo into pieces. They spit in the face of social normality. However, there is a wink in both films to anyone intelligent or aware enough to notice. A wink that says “This has gone violently, wildly and entirely too far.”
Tyler made very good points. On many levels he was not wrong. But he was also a terrorist. Amy had all the expectations of her parents and society places on her and literally illustrated in her face. But she was also a sociopath.
When I saw this film, one of the first things I thought was “Wow… This is as if someone took all the Tumblr arguments and the social norms and easy answers and shook it for two and a half hours.” That someone is David Fincher. And that just so happens to be something he is very, very good at.
The themes you are addressing are there and they are important… But lets not forget the others. Lets not forget that, not excusing his failures, Nick was manipulated and held hostage. Lets not forget about him as a person. Let’s not forget that Amy ruined multiple lives to get her way (and that this happened long before Nick was in the picture). Lets not forget that there must be at least a dozen Lifetime movies with these roles exactly reversed, and no one would be afraid to say that the man was an evil sociopath who had trapped this poor woman who just did not feel appreciated. Lets not forget the points that are blatantly addressed about media it’s long, over-correcting and “so well meaning” arms. Years ago Nick would have been safe, specifically because he was a white, hetrosexual male. And that is wrong. Now this has put him right in the bullseye. And that is wrong. Lets not forget all that this film has to say.
Amy is fantastically written, fascinating and complex character and I am so glad that she was written as she was. There should be more woman written with this much care, attention and depth. People are complex and women are people. Women should never be confined to a plot device, be it a love interest or damsel in distress. All the same, Amy is not a person to aspire to.
She took it entirely too far.
(Source: mrgolightly, via cohlecholls)