Dark Places is a film about people dealing with hard times and loss. It has an exceptional story to tell but somewhere along the way it finds it hard to showcase everything it has to offer, and focuses on the investigation side of things, instead of the more interesting emotional aspect of its characters.
Charlize Theron gives a very good performance, equal to her character’s multi-layered personality and she really manages to bring through her characteristics and feelings. She makes the script work for her and she is committed to make the best out of what she is given to work with. There are a lot of memorable cast members doing a great job, but the characters they portray feel more like supporting peons in a movie that should have been more about them and their place in it.
The direction of the film, doesn’t do the story by Gillian Flynn justice, now that’s probably down to the director Gilles Paquet-Brenner, he himself adapted the book and wrote the screenplay so he is probably the one guy to blame for bringing the quality of the movie down and stopping it from being something more than just a decent watch.
It’s rushed and it’s sloppy, however it is still a very interesting story that is told.
Directed by the master of suspenseful thrillers, David Fincher once again pushes the story to the boundaries, while maintaining the highest possible level of character development in a movie he manages to keep the audience on the edge of their sit with his ability to shock and surprise. Fincher didn’t make everything happen on his own of course, he was given a great story by Gillian Flynn who wrote both novel and screenplay, and he manages to use the emotion and atmosphere that is depicted in the story and paint clear pictures through filmmaking that mirror reality. He expertly executes his vision of the narrative and comes out with a stunning result that leaves viewers with agape mouths.
Moreover in addition to Fincher’s masterclass, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross provide the best possible music score, a disturbingly haunting composition which complements the film’s theme to the maximum and enhances the tension in every scene.
Rosamund Pike gives a fascinating performance that is part of the reason why by the end of the movie everyone is left in awe, along with Ben Affleck’s honest and underrated performance and a great effort by the whole cast bring this complex story to life.
The movie takes us on a thrilling ride, benefiting from Fincher’s genius and ability to take us into the deeper ends of the story challenging us to follow it as it unravels. It allows the viewer to grasp the journey to its fullest, to understand the characters and their actions and maybe even relate, to some degree at least.