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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Gone (2012)

Oh, Amanda Seyfried is lovely. That might be the problem. Kudos to her for taking this on, but personally, I can't really be convinced by her here. Seyfried plays the part Jill, a night-shift waitress at the Lucky Star cafeteria. Two years earlier, she was abducted, she says, by an unknown man, taken to the forest and dropped in a ruddy big hole. During her time there, and prior to her escape, she finds human remains in the soil beneath her feet. She escapes by stabbing her abductor in the neck with one of the bones she finds.

Sounds unbelievable right? Well, this is what the police thought too. There was no hole found, no DNA evidence to say she had been attacked, no proof of any sexual assault and she claimed never to have seen the man clearly, so would be unable to identify him. No surprise then that the authorities thought she had imagined the whole thing and so committed her to hospital for her own good. When she is released, she moves in with her sister, Molly. Then one early morning after her shift at the cafeteria is over, she returns home to find her sister missing, with no note or valid reason why. The police are understandably reticent to believe the girl who had become notorious for allegedly crying wolf in the past.

So with no-one to help her, Jill decides to take matters into her own hands and goes out to find her sister and the man that abducted her previously, sure that he is the one holding her.

To say any more would ruin the film for you, but this much is obvious, so it won't do you any harm to have this going in. As I said, I have trouble believing in Jill as a heroine. I find it hard to relate to a woman that abandons all common sense and, rightly or wrongly, takes the law into her own hands. Not only that, but she is a slip of a girl, so my bigoted sexism (I refute this of course, suggesting some half-pint McLovin would be equally unlikely to be credible) has trouble imagining the character being successful in her attempts to force a resolution to these events.

And this is where we have a problem with the film. Heroics are commonplace in the movies, you seem them everywhere, but they still tend to fall between the boundaries of what is possible and what is just unlikely. If they weren't, then they wouldn't be classified as heroics in the first place. Here, we have a girl that somehow manages to elude her captor and be on the run from the police for a good hour of the film, who are desperate to haul her in, for fear of what the crazed psycho might do in her condition. This girl is a waitress in a cafeteria, remember, not some Cynthia Rothrock martial arts assassin.

The performances by all but Seyfried are superfluous really as this is her picture, driving the story forward at all times and to pick out anyone apart from her would be doing them a disservice. Seyfried is playing Jill as wired, off her prescribed medication and desperate to save her sister. She is rarely scared, however, which seems unlikely. Not until the reveal do we really get the feeling the she herself might have begun to believe she may have been out of her depth.

There are enough plot lines left still tangled by the end of film to imagine a sequel, if such a thing were possible, but this is unlikely. Nevertheless, several questions still rattled around my head as I watched the closing credits;

Why didn't she park her car near her work if she was so worried?

Why did she take her own car to the police station the following morning when she went out in her sisters car the night before and she would have had to have moved that one in order to take her own car?

On their own, these don't add up to much, but it does give you a couple of examples that go to prove the point that reality is not a friend of ours here. A fact given form by the actions of Jill herself over the course of two crazy days. Regularly entertaining, though only bordering on riveting in the final act, I can recommend this for those that like a thriller but don't appreciate too much violence or blood spilled. It's not a classic by any stretch of the imagination but it does have its moments. The film fails to convince, however, as it is just a little bit too far past realism to swallow.


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