The first time i saw the movie Gone Girl in theaters, i was in a theater with maybe 15 people. During the films biggest plot twist, the entire theater let out an entire gasp, in unison. It was both the first and last time i experienced that in a movie. When i left the theater, it took me weeks to stop talking about the movie.
I bought it on DVD when it became available (yes, DVD. I probably could have just bought it on iTunes and maybe i wouldn’t have lost it) and i watched the movie maybe 6 other times. Each time i noticed a different theme or message.
The first time was probably the overplaying of the psycho wife character. The most prominent message i noticed was the role the media played in Amy’s disappearance. From the get go, Nick’s innocence was questioned, however, without evidence the media could not begin their smear campaign.
When Nick Dunne was formally charged with the murder of his wife, the media began its job. They altered truths within Nick’s life to fit the agenda they set and continued to discredit his character and his innocence. Furthermore, when Nick was proved innocent upon Amy’s return, the media abandoned its narratives and created a new one. To me, this echoed what typical happens anytime a women or child goes missing.
The media, justifiably, goes for the people closest to them for answers, however, often times it is taken too far. I am as guilty as anyone for over consuming media stories, and specifically crime stories. I do believe that the media exploits our obsession with crime and controversy, something the media willingly uses to their advantage.
The movie Gone Girl took on new meaning for me this past weekend, as i spent my Sunday binge watching the ABC News specials ‘Truth and Lies.’ One of the episodes feature the murder of Laci Peterson.
Even though the disappearance (and murder) of Laci Peterson occurred in my home state of California, I had never heard of the details of this case until i watched this special.
As i was watching, i began to realize the parallels between this case and the movie Gone Girl. Although the endings are different, decided to compile a list of parallels between the murder of Laci Peterson and the fictional disappearance of Amy Dunne in the movie Gone Girl.
Disclaimer: these are only some of the similarities, some of them may not make sense if you are not familiar with both the disappearance of Laci Peterson and the movie Gone Girl.
-Both women were pretty and young.
-Both women disappeared in their home while their husbands were out of the house.
-Both husbands were initially not suspects.
-Friends of the women disappeared had strong opinions on what had happened to the women.
-The homes of the women who disappeared were covered in blood.
-Both husbands were criticized by the media for their response to the disappearance of their wife.
-Both husbands were having an affair.
-Both lied to law enforcement about their affair.
-Both of their mistresses came forward in the media.
-Both women were “pregnant” at the time of their disappearance (if you’ve seen Gone Girl, you know why i have pregnant in quotations here.)
-Both husbands were criticized for their behavior at candle light vigils held for their missing wives.
Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s 2012 comments to Entertainment Weekly when asked if she modeled Gone Girl after any real life cases:
“I definitely didn’t want to do anything specific. One could point to Scott and Lacey Peterson — they were certainly a good-looking couple. But they’re always good-looking couples. That’s why they end up on TV. You don’t normally see incredibly ugly people who’ve gone missing and it becomes a sensation. It could be any number of those types of cases, but that was what kind of interested me: the selection and the packaging of a tragedy. In a way, I reverse-engineered some of it. What’s going to amp up the media’s interest in this, and what’s going to make it believable that the media’s going to descend on this?”