Is There a Moral in Gone Girl?
Gone Girl is really a Basic Instinct for the 2010s, with the cocaine and bisexuality replaced by the even trendier point of intrigue for the audience: false allegations of sexual assault. Both movies end in the same way, with the couple uneasily moving toward a domestic future that involves having children together.
The unease at the end of Basic Instinct revolves around whether Catherine will ever change her decision to leave the icepick under the bed; the unease at the end of Gone Girl revolves around the clear hatred between Amy and Nick, as one wonders who will do the other in first (Gone Girl, 20). If there is a moral to this movie, it is that the sexual calculus that men so often use to control women can turn on them, and can turn in the worst ways possible.
If Nick weren’t having an affair, one wonders whether or not Amy would have done what she did. After all, she has made false allegations of sexual abuse in the past. It is difficult to determine from the film whether her pathology would have taken the form of this sort of manipulation even if Nick had done nothing wrong (Gone Girl, 2014). Once things start spinning downward, though, they spin quickly. In Basic Instinct, it seems that Catherine’s pathology started young, as her parents died in a mysterious accident. In the case of Amy, though, it seems that this is a woman committed to giving even better than what she gets when it comes to lying and cheating. Too many times, men believe that they can have their cake and eat it too. The problem is that through their deceit, through their misuse of women, they incur the wrath of people who can do much, much worse to them than they ever thought, using the weapons of a criminal justice system that tends to believe women over men in their favor.
Chaffin, C. (Producer) & Fincher, D. (Director). (2014). Gone
Girl. [Motion picture]. United States: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
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