Review Summary: Inseparable.
A wife vanishing into thin air, a husband covering his tracks, and heartstrings stretching until they break. It’s quite a feat when a story can be felt, experienced free from the cumbersome and graceless medium of speech and language. 2014’s film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl
, carries, among other things, a gripping soundtrack that accomplishes two great purposes. First, it acts as the film’s emotional engine, breathing life into the grey skies and dimly lit rooms of Carthage, Missouri. Second, and perhaps more impressive, the soundtrack maintains a life of its own when it is separated from the very same images that brought it into existence, providing ninety minutes of unnerving, unrelenting, and uncompromising atmosphere.
Composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the now go-to musical duo of director David Fincher, the soundtrack of Gone Girl
is one of tepid curiosity and terrifying brilliance. It starts harmlessly enough, What Have We Done To Each Other?
is airy, dreamy, and calming. Synths and ambiance dance around one another, never letting the other completely take hold of the track. This line between ambiance and melody is one Reznor and Ross tiptoe across like tightrope walkers, with tracks like Sugar Storm
, Still Gone
, and Something Disposable
, which taunt the listener with pleasing and elegant melodies before being picked apart by jarring, intimidating clashes, shrieks, and scrapes. Like Home
is an exercise in grand orchestral melodies, the triumphant and emotional horn medley are inevitably betrayed, like the characters of Gone Girl
, by a sudden wail of strings, which build until they erupt crash into their sinister, silent conclusion.
The listener rarely has a moment to breath throughout this daunting twenty four-track album. The glitchy, muffled stomps of Perpetual
are a claustrophobic nightmare, an unforgiving venture into the dark and industrial sounds of a marriage dismantled. The Way He Looks at Me
are downright startling, the former a sickening mix of thudding percussion and animal like sobs, the latter being a distorted and violent death rattle. Just Like You
contains perhaps the only glimpse of the sun throughout the entire listen, with thick, weighty synths giving way to a brief, beautiful piano solo about halfway through the song, before sinking back into the fever dream that is Appearances
As a soundtrack, Gone Girl
is an absolute triumph. With its great respect for the source material and its carefully executed emotional climaxes, it is a truly integral piece of the artistic puzzle, inseparable from the film. At the same time, when torn away from the film, like the vanishing wife of Gone Girl
, the album leaves a trail of devastation and despair that is uniquely its own, weaving a tale of love, loss, and frantic anxiety, all within songs that will haunt you long after the film’s credits roll.