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  • Writer's pictureriawoodburn

Implied Readership: Gone Girl (2014) Review

Updated: Sep 23, 2018

The psychological thriller Gone Girl (2014) written by Gillen Flynn who wrote both the novel and screenplay, exhibits a perfect example of audience implied readership. The film follows the mysterious disappearance of Nick Dunne’s wife Amy and the seemingly unsavoury circumstances surrounding it. The film relies on the audience putting clues together from snippets of information and making a judgement on the guilt of her husband Nick. This creates an impression of what you think has happened which is then deconstructed as being false. Amy’s apparent murder by the hands of her husband Nick turns out to be an elaborate plot by her to frame him. Not only is Amy alive, she is far crazier then we could have imagined. Tricking the audience into assigning the incorrect roles of protagonist and antagonist, provides us with a potent lesson of false assumptions and stereotypes. This is a technique coined by director Alfred Hitchcock, which relies on the audience making certain assumptions based on their own predetermined way of thinking:

‘The majority of Hitchcock’s films, particularly films like Rear Window (1954) written by John Michael Hayes, are packed with playful psychoanalytical ideas, which lead the audience to question not only what it is they are seeing but the very act of perception itself and issues of identity.’ (Lee, 2013, p. 27)

(Photography: 20th Century Fox)


Lee, J. (2013). The Psychology of Screenwriting Theory and Practice. New York, London: Bloomsbury Academic

Gone Girl, 2014 (film), directed by David FINCHER. USA: 20th Century Fox


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