Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Gone is a sometimes tense but often boring psychological thriller from Brazilian Director Heitor Dhalia, working in the English language for the first time. Amanda Seyfried stars as Jill, a young woman living with her recovering alcoholic sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) after an alleged attack on her the previous year. The police dismissed her abduction and attack claims after finding no evidence and Jill was eventually admitted to a mental institute. Back in the present, Jill returns home one morning, after a nightshift as a waitress to find that her sister has disappeared. With little help from the police Jill takes it upon herself to track down Molly and her assailant, attracting the attention of the law towards herself in the process.

The film has frequent flashbacks to Jill’s alleged attack which come to her as she edges closer to tracking down Molly. The plot also opens lots of avenues for possible answers but leaves the audience feeling disappointed once the answers start arriving.

I went into this movie with fairly low expectations and it just about met them. It is basically the same idea that we’ve seen a hundred times and introduces nothing new. The idea that someone claims something happened to them which the police dismiss is as old as film itself and it’s quite frankly a pretty dull idea. You know from the beginning that the plot can go in one of two directions; either it was all in her head the whole time and she abducted her sister or the same person who abducted her has taken her sister, she will save her and be vindicated. I won’t reveal which way the film goes but I was expecting a twist all the way through which never arrived. Instead what you get is a really basic exposition and final reveal which was badly done.

One of my main problems with the plot was the lack of effort on the behalf of the police. Even if the police didn’t believe that Jill was ever abducted, when they get a report that another woman has gone missing, it shouldn’t matter who reported it, they should at least put out an APB. Here though the police laugh off her report and do nothing to try and find the missing girl. The only officer that takes an interest is one of the several male characters who are in the film to become suspects in the audience’s mind. The whole thing struck me as weird and unlikely.

Going back to the male suspects, the film introduces about four of five who the audience is to guess from. Most are extreme caricatures whose only role is to be suspicious and creepy. Every one without exception is one dimensional and forgettable. The film’s saving grace is that I wasn’t able to completely work out the ending though this is mainly because I was expecting a twist which never arrived. Another positive note was Amanda Seyfried’s performance which was believable and overall very good. The rest of the cast had very little to do except chase her or look creepy. The direction was fine but unflashy but I was disappointed to see the obligatory car chase as it wasn’t needed. The tense and creepy feeling I got towards the end was also good but once the source of tension was revealed, I felt letdown.

Overall Gone is a middle of the road thriller which offers little in terms or surprises or twists. Occasionally it is a little tense but this feeling usually doesn’t last long and the ending is poor. Lead actress Amanda Seyfried is excellent and Director Dhalia definitely has a future in film, just hopefully with a better script. The fact that the film took only $16 million worldwide goes a long way to tell you what most people thought and as my girlfriend summed up perfectly “there’s just nothing to it”.     


No comments:

Post a Comment