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Gone Girl: A Gripping, Disturbing Film That Will Make You Rethink Marriage

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By Itika SIngh:

Like many others before me, the first thing that I thought after watching Gone Girl was – “I’m never getting married”. The film maps the marital discord of Nick and Amy Dunne who are so dissatisfied with their lives that a simple divorce can just not do justice. The movie is an adaptation of a book by Gillian Flynn. Flynn has herself done the screenwriting to the relief of her fans. Directed by David Fincher, the film stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as the leading couple.

gone girl

In the first ten minutes of the movie, the audience is exposed to the not-so-happy state of the couple’s marriage; a flashback of how they met and coming back to the present – the wife’s disappearance. The initial part of the movie has all the makings of a standard thriller. The narration consists of the wife, Amy, penning her journal, giving details of their romantic history and the present, where the husband, Nick, deals with the disappearance and the ensuing police investigation. The viewer’s emotions towards Nick oscillate between sympathy and dislike. On one side, he is the charming lover and son to a disturbed father, but on the other, he is the uncaring husband who doesn’t know his wife’s blood group. But the case against him soon starts to become stronger. The wife’s journal shapes him as a violent and abusive man, and his own admission shows him to be unfaithful. But just as the case reaches the tipping point, a twist changes the question from “Did he do it?” to “Who’s telling the truth?”.

Even though the movie is replete with twists, it feels dragged at places. With an hour left in the movie, I found myself wondering why it didn’t end already, and also where Neil Patrick Harris would fit in, because he’d have to have more screen time if his name was flashed right at the start. The ending, however, can be said to make up for the slump. But it is also the ending that is the most disturbing aspect of the film. It shows the mutual depravity of the lead pair in sharp focus and even in the end, adds depth to the characters. The characters are well-sketched and intriguing throughout. The casting is spot on. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike seamlessly portray characters that traverse the spectrum of being good and being bad. The supporting actors are nothing less than brilliant. Carrie Coon plays the perfect confidante as Margo Dunne, twin sister to Nick. The tuning between the two portrays a convincing brother-sister relationship that is almost hear-warming. Kim Dickens plays the determined and fair Detective Rhonda Boney. Tanner Bolt, played by Tyler Perry, is introduced mid-way as Nick’s lawyer. His presence lightens the mood of the otherwise somber tone of the film. The one casting that seems uncomfortable is Neil Patrick Harris as Amy’s ex-lover. Though it is good to see Harris in other genres than comedy, his character is not at par with the others and comes out as shallow and two-dimensional. There are a few, very few, instances of dry humour that seem too little for as grave a movie as this.

Another feature of the movie is that it raises the issues like media trials and impact of recession on people’s lives. But here the issue is not just an added layer to the story, but rather woven into the story, directing its flow. The recession and its consequences for Amy and Nick are integral to the storyline. The movie also shows how snap judgments are made against Nick’s innocence and the media images that are made for Nick have an important role to play in the lives of the characters.

Overall, the movie is one that’ll stay with you. Even though it may leave you disturbed, it gives you plenty food for thought, and that is one stimulus that should always be welcome.

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  1. Babar

    Here is another disturbing film that will make you rethink marriage : 498A: The Wedding Gift. (Every 3 minutes a man is accused of dowry harassment in India – 98% of accusations are false).

  2. Babar

    In a misandrist Indian society, men don’t need to rethink marriage, as women are using husbands as an ATM , usurp half of their property during a divorce, earn lacs by filing false cases of dowry, collect alimony, etc.

    Lakshmi Mittal’s niece receives Rs. 10 crores in alimony

    1. Green Lantern

      Women are insatiable. They are never satisfied no matter how much they get.

    2. Babar

      Please don’t use the word ‘woman’ as it is very offensive, since it contains the word ‘man’ in it. Instead, use womyn, womban, or womon.

    3. Green Lantern

      I see where you are coming from, but the hate is derived from crimes by men against women such as domestic abuse, acid attacks, honor killings, rapes and the likes of it.

    4. Babar

      I agree that the heinous crime of rape is perpetrated by men on women, and it has come to the point where Delhi is known as the rape capital of the world’ due to the increasingly high number of rape cases filed, but 3 out of 4 cases are proven to be false. Furthermore, how many women do you personally know who are victims of acid attacks or honour killings? I am not denying the existence of these crimes or the fact that they are horrific, but these are handful in number. The Indian media makes a hype of crimes against women for TRPs. Here is a question. Why doesn’t the Indian media talk about domestic violence by women? Search Google and Youtube for ‘domestic violence against men’ to know how widespread and prevalent it is, yet the media chooses not to highlight it. Furthermore, 75% of rape cases and 98% of dowry cases are false, and tens of thousands of innocent men rot in Indian jails courtesy of false allegations for greed? Women are now marrying so that they can deliberately break marriages and file dowry cases, and if that is not enough, usurp half of a man’s property after a divorce and also get alimony. In marriages, women taunt, abuse, and inflict physical and psychological violence on their husbands, but the misandrist Indian society does not recognize violence by women on men. Even in a line at the petrol pump or in a bank, a woman can come out of nowhere and break the line, and no one says a word. Lifeboats are reserved for women. Women have special quotas in banks, office, and politics. Women ask (read force) men to leave their seats in public places. A man is under obligation to provide for a woman, not vice versa. A man has been reduced to a chattel. It is surprising that twice as many men in India commit suicide than women.

    5. Anjali

      Why do you hate women so much? Do you even know how a woman survives in India? Do you even know about the torcher we go through on daily basis? How can you be so blind? 8 out of 10 girls under 15 are sexually abused. Every 30 minutes 2 women are raped. And every second we are stared at, physically and mentaly abused and all due to the male dominating society of our country. Stop being so ignorant. Closing your eyes and citing the same things over and over again won’t change the truth Mr.Babar!

    6. Babar

      All your statistics are bogus and fake, just like women’s false allegations of dowry, rape, and domestic violence.

      P.S. I don’t hate women. If highlighting women’s crimes and talking about men’s rights is hating women, then looking at your comment, it would be safe to say that you hate men.

      Thanks and regards.

    7. Babar

      Tougher rape law leading to increase in false cases? – More than 75% of rape cases are false, which end in acquittals, and this is not even taking into account the number of people who are falsely held guilty of rape and imprisoned for a crime they did not commit. Majority of rape cases are false.

  3. Destroyer of Morons

    Wow! So this is where Westernized India is going now. Down the drain. You watch 2-D audio-visual content and make decisions that affect “flesh and blood” 3 -D humans living in 4-D space-time continuum. Do people even know the simple difference between generalization that is cinema and a specific individual or couple living their life? Hope they do.

    Sincerely,
    Destroyer of Morons

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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