Every story you know and love originated in ancient times. David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl,’ adapted from Gillian Flynn’s brilliant, acidic novel, is no exception. You’ve been listening to, reading, and witnessing tales of revenge, tales of escape, and tales of murder for as long as you can remember, but you may not have made the link, when doing so, between the modern-day film you’re watching or story you’re reading with the dramas of ancient Greece, the dramas with themes and ideas so enormous they had to be screamed to be fully realized. This video essay by Ivana Brehas makes its crucial point, which is that ‘Gone Girl’ is a retelling of Euripides’ ‘Medea,’ in a calm but firm manner, Trent Reznor’s soundtrack circulating beneath the methodical analysis, an analysis which bears down upon barbarism, betrayal, and a level of discomfort in the relations between two people that would be enough to curl most viewers’ toes for an indefinite period of time, doing so through point-by-point comparison which, as presented here, makes perfect sense. One would have to imagine that Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike would have had to have ample PTSD therapy after dipping their toes in Flynn’s sea of dysfunction, but hey, perhaps not. The story of Medea, of revenge, of escape, of rage, is in our narrative bloodstream. We see these stories, and we are horrified by them, but we aren’t that horrified–because we recognize their essential truth.
Watch: David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ Retells Euripides’ ‘Medea’