I was really quite excited about this film and had heard great things about it from some of the articles I had read. It is yet another film based on a book and one I hadn’t read prior to going to see it at the cinema. It being a who dunnit meant that reading the book would surely ruin the suspense and take the fun you have when trying to play detective. Also reading it after would make it feel rather pointless, so I do not really intend to read it now. This being said this is obviously a good story and one worth reading, the order in which you do it is entirely up to you of course.
The film starts with Ben Afflecks character sitting at a bar talking to his sister, a bar which you later find out he owns. It is his 5 year wedding anniversary and you can already tell the marriage is struggling. The sister is clearly not a fan of her sister in law and doesn’t think she is the best person for her brother. Anniversary tradition means that he has to follow a treasure hunt of sorts by finding clues that his wife has set out for him, which is a major part of the plot.
Ben Affleck returns home to find his wife missing, the glass table on its side with smashed glass as if there has been some kind of disturbance. He soon notifies the police and an investigation starts and although he is not the prime suspect at first, it’s not long before it turns into a murder enquiry with him at the centre. He does the emotional press conference where everyone points the finger at him, particularly a certain talk show host. He is made out to be the murderous husband who isn’t quite acting like he should considering the love of his life is missing.
The story is told through his wife’s diary and goes back to the very beginning where they first met and fell in love. It’s a whirlwind romance and a happy relationship that soon turns sour, but who’s version of events is the truth? Where will the treasure hunt clues lead and will they tell us what has happened to the wife? Who else will be sucked into this mess? There are many twists and turns throughout and you feel quite excited when you turn the corner and find a whole new pathway to the answer, but it’s a twisted pathway that doesn’t just swallow up one person.
The performances from Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are brilliant although Rosamund borders on hammy at times, but gets away with it. Affleck doesn’t get the credit he deserves because in the right film he is a brilliant actor. I just hope that the new Batman film doesn’t ruin it for him and he can carry on creating films like this. The supporting characters really build up a picture and give you clues to who has murdered the wife. Maybe the obvious person really has done it? You find out quite early on, but the mystery doesn’t stop there. I’ll warn you that the “C” word comes up a couple of times, hence this is an 18 certificate. This is one of the best films of the year.