‘Gone’ Movie Review
Opening this weekend is Brazilian director Heitor Dhalia’s first English film Gone, starring Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!, In Time). Billed as an action thriller, this psychological tale follows a young woman as she copes with her past abduction while trying to figure out what happened to her missing sister. The psychological aspect sets the film on a different course than what I expected, but it unfortunately degraded over 94 minutes. It started as a coherent whole, but the chinks and cracks started to progress over time.
When her sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) goes mysteriously missing, Jill (Seyfried) fears she’s been kidnapped. Having survived an abduction a year earlier, she goes to the police for help. However, her fragile mindset kills her credibility, leaving Jill alone in her search for her sister. Through flashbacks, Jill must deal with the present by trying to understand and let go of the past. Not only is she alone in searching for her sister, but she’s actually being hunted by the police who suspect her to be armed and dangerous. Most frightening, though, is that she believes her original abductor (the one the police believe she made up) is behind the newest disappearance.
The premise, especially the psychological part, sets the movie up quite nicely. While it doesn’t deliver anything amazing throughout the first act, the story builds some potential. However, Seyfried shows she isn’t quite poised for a breakout lead role. She’s fine, overall, but the film relies so much on the main character that anything short of amazing makes it tough to pull off. Her vulnerability should be the driving pathos to the character. It’s tough to get on board with the fact that she’s so powerless.
Even more frustrating are the cops that are summoned to help. Powers (Daniel Sunjata), the lead detective, seems far more villainous than any abductor. Flanked by two equally as unnecessary characters, the police side of the story is where the cracks start to surface the most. Even with her mental background, it’s tough to believe the cops would blatantly contradict their “Protect and Serve” slogan. Yes, she may be dangerous, but to completely ignore a potential kidnapping is ridiculously far off.
This may seem like a slight problem, but it starts to add up when you think about how convenient it is to the story. The police are the force behind why Jill must set out by herself. These litte moments start to add up, making it seem obvious that things happen just to move the story forward. For example, there are far too many convenient clues that surface from what appears to be a calculated psychopath (the abductor). Here, the cracks start to widen.
By the time the movie reaches the third act, or the resolution, the plot takes a wonky turn in a direction that will overtly make people question what the hell she is thinking. The action is set up for the sole purpose of suspension, which is a gimmick that seems too cheap for this day in age. By sacrificing logic, the cracks turn into huge gaping holes.
Shockingly, the story had a chance to repair the holes still! Unfortunately, they don’t quite succeed. Going any further would be delving into depths of spoilery, so I’ll leave it at that. There was a conscious decision made about what kind of conclusion we’d have with the character, making the film interesting enough to put some of the downfalls on hold. Unfortunately, this conclusion was the exact opposite of what would’ve been the saving grace, which flushed out all of the problems.
There you have it, the film had a longer list of cons compared to pros. On the plus side, there are certain elements that still worked, mainly the psychosis. However, starting with the main character, the cons stacked up. The weight crushed a fragile plot that relied way too much on convenience. I wanted a far better justification for some of the more ridiculous parts, but this just wasn’t the case.