Last weekend was an epic movie watching weekend. Gone Girl premiered on Star Movies on July 25th, and it’s one I’ve long been wanting to see. I was so super-efficient that evening, wrapped up dinner, put both the kids to sleep, and then settled down on the sofa to peaceably watch it on the telly. The very next day I took Snubnose to see Minions – that movie that every child under 10 has been breathlessly waiting for.
Gone Girl – Book vs Movie (All Spoiler-y)
Starring Ben Affleck as Nick and Rosamund Pike as Amy, this is the movie version of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel – Gone Girl. I loved the book and wanted to see how the movie reinterprets the themes of the book – marriage and lies, and how well we know our partners, all wrapped up in a larger plot that talks about domestic murder and the media hysteria that follows when there is a particularly shocking murder.
But above all else, this is a wonderfully entertaining sharp story that is one of my all-time favorite thrillers.
I remember when the movie was first going to come out, there was an interview with Gillian Flynn (author of the book and script writer for the movie), that suggested there might be some curve balls when it comes to the ending.
So, imagine my surprise when I saw that it pretty much sticks to the book. Sure, there are a few tweaks here and there to make it more concise (and I think those tweaks worked pretty well), but the ending is almost exactly the same as the book.
I can only guess that they shot two endings, and finally went with the one that got more popular votes. This was a bit disappointing for me because:
- Since I have read the book, I didn’t feel any sense of tension or shock at the end. This is a big failure as far as I am concerned. Normally, I like it when a movie sticks closely to the book, but in a thriller, a little change would have been nice to give that sense of jolt. At least, that’s what I felt.
- It is one thing to read about Amy’s escapades with Desi. But to actually watch it on-screen and to watch her get away with it was incredibly frustrating. It was a weakness in the book as well, and in the movie, it is just even more obvious when they show the numerous video cameras watching Desi and Amy in the lake house. How come nothing panned out of that investigation? Poor Desi was completely wiped out, without even his mother to speak for him (as she does in the book).
Another thing I didn’t like was that Nick’s last words in the novel didn’t make it through to the movie. In the book, when Amy asks Nick why he’s so nice to her, he delivers this mother of all lines:
Because I feel sorry for you … because every morning you have to wake up and be you.
I loved that line, and since the movie was anyway sticking closely to the plot, it makes sense to have that in there. Instead Nick leaves room for a sequel by mouthing some vaguely inane line about what they will do to each other. I thought that sucked. And I sincerely do hope there is no sequel.
What I did like in the movie were the amazing cast and the acting. I thought Rosamund Pike was brilliant as Amy – and her physical transformations through the course of the movie was really well-done. Ben Affleck is pretty good too. I kind of liked that there was that line about his villainous chin, it was a good addition to the movie. The supporting characters were great too. I really liked Margo and the police detectives, and even the lawyer Tanner Bolt – they are all spot-on.
The movie is taut and well-directed, and overall pretty good. If I had not read the book first, I might have enjoyed it a lot more than I now did.
We went to see Minions mainly to meet up with an old friend of mine and her daughters who are Snubnose’s close friends. We have planned this reunion for ages, but something or the other always got in the way. A movie that the kids would enjoy was a good excuse to catch-up.
I wasn’t that impressed by the trailer but anything for the kids, you know. Anyway, we went to catch the movie, and I enjoyed it better than I thought I would. But here’s the caveat, you will like this movie only if you think those minions are darn cute. If you don’t think so, then this movie is going to be one long headache for you.
The movie starts with a mock-serious history of the Minions, which was hilarious but at the same time I was uneasily aware that a lot of this stuff was completely above Snubnose’s understanding. I mean she has no idea who Napoleon is, so how would she enjoy the black humor of Napoleon’s failed invasion of Russia? In addition, she was sitting among her friends, and I could make out all of their blank expressions. I began to wonder if they would enjoy the rest of the movie.
The basic rule of existence for the Minions is that they need to serve the most evil boss around. I found this plot premise a little problematic. After all you are watching a movie made for young, impressionable minds. What message are we conveying when the sweetest characters in the movie are evil henchmen? Anyway, that’s probably just me being overly preachy and over thinking things.
What I like about the movie is that it’s set in the swinging 60s – one of the most fun decades, so we get to see a young Queen Elizabeth making mincemeat of the Minions, a glimpse of the Beatles, and best of all some fun background music.
That said, the basic plot is a bit hackneyed, the main villain Scarlet Overkill is so over the top that even Snubnose was bored with her.
However all the ludicrous plot holes are buried in over-the-top humor (which I quite enjoyed), and fast-paced (sometimes a bit too fast) action. The thing is, sometimes the jokes fly by rapidly, and you have to be quick in getting them, which I think the kids (ranging from 7-9) just did not get. They did enjoy the physical comedy though and I guess that is enough for now. Still it’s a shame to have a children’s movie where so much of the setting and humor is oriented towards adults.
Another disappointment were the 3-D effects, they were just not impressive (especially when compared to the last 3-D movie I saw – Avengers: Age of Ultron).
Overall, we enjoyed the movie, but it’s just not as good as some of the other animated movies we have seen recently.
And the Makeover
After the movie, I took Snubnose for a long-promised haircut. Ever since I went short, she’s been wanting a change too. Plus her hair was just too long and unruly, and I was finally fed up with the daily hassle of untangling and plaiting them every morning for school. So I finally gave in to Snubnose’s pleas and we did the haircut.
We took off almost five inches from the length and the result is a new rejuvenated Snubnose.
We both are super-thrilled with her new short do. It basically shaves off about fifteen minutes of getting ready time in the morning, which makes me a happy camper. And it makes her look and feel new, so total win-win for us 🙂
How was your weekend? Did you catch either of these movies? What were your opinions?