Gone is the latest film to star doe eyed, vacant, closeted psycho Amanda Seyfried… Wait maybe that’s a bit harsh. Seyfried, who was pretty fantastic in Chloe and unbearably awful in Red Riding Hood, stars as Jill in this run of the mill psychological thriller. Having supposedly been kidnapped two years prior, Jill comes home to find her sister, Molly, missing and proceeds directly to panic with the belief that she has been kidnapped by the same person, much to the disbelief of the police who didn’t even believe Jill’s first kidnapping was real.
Since no one else seems bothered about Molly (she has a drinking problem so presumably her being on a bender is far more likely than the kidnap story concocted by kooky big eyes) Jill ramps up the crazy to unnecessary levels, inciting police car chases and firing guns in local hardware stores, in the pursuit of her sister. The story doesn’t hang around, I lost count of the amount of car’s that she goes through as she investigates tenuous leads on the kidnapper who may or may not exist (that’s an exaggeration, it was only 3 cars).
Gone is one of those films that spends the preponderance of it’s time making you wonder what is real and what is in the characters mind, and as such it is rife with a truck load of red herrings, completely superfluous pieces of information, and characters that will act in an incomprehensibly bizarre manner intended to fool you into making false assumptions about the plot and where it is heading. This is both entertaining (to a point) and infuriating. A good thriller would create suspense and use subtlety to generate mystery and intrigue in the plot, Gone chooses the approach that if the plot is saturated with an endless series of irritating possibilities then chances are you won’t be able to guess what’s about to happen.
It’s not that the film is awful, it’s short enough not to labour the point and the constant “is it real, is it in her mind, who could the kidnapper be?” continuum does keep you guessing. Which is why, when it’s all revealed, it’s slightly disappointing that it’s almost completely unexplored, as if the entire thing had no motivation whatsoever. There’s a brief and somewhat satisfyingly harsh ending, even if it is all left a bit unexplained.
Seyfried is OK, she oozes a kind of unstable nature that fits the part, and she creates wonderful lies at the drop of a hat to suit pretty much any scenario. With a better story backing her up she really could have shined in this, but as it stands the story isn’t anything special and neither is the film as a whole. Another one of those “if it comes on give it a go, but don’t seek it out especially” movies.
Gone is in theatres now.