Gone Girl Rebecca Analysis

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When books are adapted into movies, they tend to lose a considerable amount of substance and character development. Often, when the book’s content is edited to fit the allotted time for a movie, character depth and plot details are lost in translation. Many details and literary devices that may seem insignificant are cut from the screenplays, but they can play instrumental roles in the development of characters and the furthering of the plot. One literary device that is poorly represented in film adaptions is attention to detail. Often, seemingly insignificant details are excluded from movies, but they can play a large part in the growth of characters. This is evident in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and its respective film adaption, directed…show more content…
Both Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca are written in the first person point of view, allowing the reader to become intimately acquainted with the inner workings of the narrators’ minds. In film, it is very difficult to create the same effect, and there are not many ways to accomplish it successfully. In David Fincher’s film adaption of Flynn’s Gone Girl, Nick and Amy Dunne’s inner workings are presented solely by the acting and dialogue. Nick and Amy Dunne are not wholly reliable narrators in the novel, both of them holding back information or providing false information to the reader that is not as well illustrated in film. For instance, Amy Dunne provides entirely falsified information to the reader for the first nearly three hundred pages of the novel via her fake diary. She admits her lies, stating that “…Diary Amy… is a work of fiction…” (Flynn, 297), that “[Diary Amy] is designed to appeal to the cops, appeal to the public…” (Flynn, 321). While Amy Dunne’s betrayal is illustrated in the film, her unreliability as a narrator is largely lost due to the exclusion of the majority of her Diary Amy’s narration. In Alfred Hitchcock’s adaption of du Maurier’s Rebecca, the narrator’s internal monologue is also conveyed only through Joan Fontaine’s acting and her dialogue; this method is widely used in film adaptions, but is rarely very…show more content…
While authors can employ astonishing amounts of detail and imagery through writing, the visuals of such detailed scenes can be even more striking. For example, in David Fincher’s film adaption of Gone Girl, the scenes leading up to and including Desi Collings’ murder are extremely vivid and striking; the camerawork and soundtrack, as well as the acting, convey a memorable and dramatic series of events. While the description of these events in the novel is certainly well-crafted, the description of Amy Dunne at her return, “…in a thin pink dress that clung to her as if it were wet. Her ankles were ringed in dark violet. From one limp wrist dangled a piece of twine.” (Flynn, 495), does not create as strong and memorable an image as the scene in the film. Flynn’s descriptors pale in comparison to the visual of a blood-covered Amy Dunne staggering up to her husband in the film. Similarly, in Alfred Hitchcock’s adaption of Rebecca, the visual of Manderley is much more vivid than what is described in the book. In du Maurier’s novel, Manderley is described as “A thing of grace and beauty, exquisite and faultless, lovelier even than I had ever dreamed…” (du Maurier, 65); while this does create a vague image of an elegant manor, the location used as Manderley in Hitchcock’s film is striking and conveys exactly the image of an old English
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