This post includes a brief plot summary and an explanation about the ending of the film “Gone Girl” (2014). Beware of spoilers.
Directed by David Fincher, the 2014 psychological thriller is based on a novel of the same name written by Gillian Flynn. The film stars Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne and Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne. Today’s post is solely based on the film, not the novel.
The film “Gone Girl” is about a woman (Amy Dunne) who “vanishes”, making her husband (Nick Dunne) a prime suspect in her disappearance. As the investigation unravels, the police find clues suggesting that Nick was an abusive and unfaithful husband. Meanwhile, the media starts portraying him as a cold-blooded murderer.
Plot Twist: Amy is alive, and she planned it all. After finding out about Nick’s affair with a younger woman, Amy decides to teach him a lesson. As a result, she stages her own disappearance and tries to frame Nick for her “murder”. The plan was to send Nick to prison, start a new life, and get away from their financial problems.
What Happens in “Gone Girl” (Plot Explained)
During her hiding period, Amy runs into some bad people who take away her money. Out of options, Amy reaches out to her ex-boyfriend, Desi. He is a wealthy man with an unhealthy obsession with Amy. While she is living with Desi, the latter becomes increasingly controlling, limiting Amy’s freedom.
After seeing Nick on TV professing his love and appealing for her return, Amy has a change of heart. However, she won’t be able to return if Desi is still around, therefore, she decides to murder him. Amy slits Desi’s throat and tries to blame her “disappearance” on him.
The media hails Amy as a hero and a survivor, but Nick suspects that there is more to the story. Although Nick confronts his wife about her lies and she admits to murdering Desi, it’s to no avail. Since he couldn’t gather evidence to support his claims, the police are unwilling to investigate further.
The Ending of “Gone Girl” Explained
The ending of “Gone Girl” shows Amy revealing to Nick that she is pregnant minutes before appearing on TV. Apparently, Amy went through artificial insemination without his knowledge. Despite feeling infuriated by his wife’s manipulation tactics, Nick decides to stay with Amy. Then, the couple shows up on TV, announcing that they are expecting a child.
So, there are essentially two big plot twists in “Gone Girl”. The first plot twist happens when the audience finds out that Amy is still alive. Not only is she not dead, but Amy is also the one who orchestrated her own disappearance. Then, the second plot twist would be Nick’s decision to stay even after he saw Amy’s true colours.
Why did Nick decide to stay with Amy?
One could say that Nick is a victim who saw himself in an impossible situation. Although he is terrified of his own wife, Nick decided to stay for the sake of his unborn child. Maybe he doesn’t want an “unstable” woman to raise his baby.
Nevertheless, there could be another angle to this whole situation: Nick is addicted to Amy. This is definitely a more provocative interpretation of the ending of “Gone Girl”, but it’s not an unreasonable explanation.
Nick said that pursuing and falling in love with Amy made him a better man. Or at least, he wanted to become a more idealized version of himself. In that case, it seems that Nick truly loves his wife. Secretly, he knows that Amy is right, he can do better, which will make him the husband that Amy wants.
What is the significance of Amy’s return to Nick?
Amy’s return to Nick is a pivotal moment in “Gone Girl” because it reveals how manipulative and deceptive she can be. This woman only changed her mind because she saw her husband playing along and trying to win her back, which is exactly what she intended.
In the process of getting back to Nick, Amy had no qualms about killing Desi and deceiving the general public. Basically, she returned on her own terms. Amy did not compromise anything, Nick had to bend to her rules and play her games.
As one can see, Amy Dunne and Nick Dunne have a difficult and complex relationship. They were both idealized versions of themselves when they were pursuing each other, which made dating “easy”. Nonetheless, marriage forced them to confront reality, which wasn’t pretty.
Over the years, Nick has let himself go. In a way, he forced Amy to give up the life they had in New York to live in a small town. To make things worse, Nick also had the audacity to start an affair. Having said that, Amy lost a lot in the process. Not only did she have to downgrade her lifestyle, but she was also getting a “lesser” version of her husband.
Despite their difficulties as a couple, Amy Dunne and Nick Dunne are unable and somehow unwilling to leave each other. Both individuals had opportunities to leave each other, yet they decided not to do so.
The ending of “Gone Girl” suggests that both Amy Dunne and Nick Dunne are troubled individuals trapped in a toxic relationship. Despite “despising” each other, there is something that pulls them together. Their obsession with each other feeds them into a vicious cycle of manipulation that involves complex power dynamics.
Gone Girl Discussion
There is some social commentary in “Gone Girl”. The film is essentially a satire on modern marriage, victim culture, and the media. Both Amy and Nick are in a toxic relationship. She likes to be in control, and Nick somehow enjoys how “unpredictable” his wife can be. Nonetheless, both can’t seem to leave each other for various reasons.
When Amy “disappeared”, societal gender biases came into play. Nick never stood a chance against Amy because society most likely favours women in situations of abuse and violence. Even though no one ever abused or hurt Amy, quite the contrary, the general public already deemed Nick guilty before he could prove his innocence.
Also, the media always plays a huge role in this case. Nick went from “doting husband” in search of his missing wife to “cold-blooded murderer” in a matter of days. Whether he was guilty or not, the media didn’t seem to care. The truth doesn’t seem to matter as much as what can spark people’s interest. And that type of power can be very dangerous.
There are many films that explore the complexities of marriage and relationships, but very few are as provocative as “Gone Girl”. The premise of the film is rather simple, but none of its main characters react as one expects them to. In that aspect, they are very unconventional.
Through the ups and downs of Amy and Nick’s relationship, the audience learns about the dark and twisted sides of love and admiration. Both Amy and Nick are flawed and fascinating at the same time. They are not simply victims or villains, but complex and contradictory human beings.
Amy Dunne is a great character because she defies stereotypes. This woman is unapologetically herself, which sort of makes her an anti-hero or a villain, depending on the angle. Also, Nick is a box full of surprises. By the way, he is not a victim in “Gone Girl”. Nick might complain about Amy, but there is something about her that keeps him “hooked”.
Overall, “Gone Girl” is a masterpiece that explores the power of storytelling. Although I haven’t read Gillian Flynn’s novel, David Fincher’s adaptation stands on its own. The director perfectly captured the dark and twisted relationship dynamics between the two main characters. Last but not least, Rosamund Pike’s performance is stellar, she was flawless as Amy Dunne.