Contains spoilers for the film/book.
The film was a good adaptation of the book and remained true to the storyline. There was only one thing omitted – Libby did not steal Diondra’s lipstick. In the film she is still found guilty of Michelle’s murder, but the lipstick is never used as a plot point. In the book the lipstick was used to prove, with DNA, that it was Diondra’s blood on Michelle’s sheets.
The pacing of the film was better than in Gone Girl. It felt like the story was constantly moving along, whereas in Gone Girl it felt like it was dawdling a little. At times the film attempted to be dramatic but it just came off as being funny.
The casting was poorly done, although Christina Hendricks was a good cast for Patty Day. However, the older Ben (Corey Stoll) was a terrible casting decision which was obvious from the trailer. The book states “His hair had turned a dark rust. He wore it long, sweeping his shoulders, tucked girlishly behind his ears.” (p.117) In the film, Ben is now bald with a dark haired beard.
Like the book, I was more interested in the events that happened in the 80’s rather than the present. The colour casting between the two time periods was interesting – the present day orange/yellow warm tones, and the 80’s a lot darker and grimy. It was also visually interesting how they offset Libby escaping as a child to her escaping as an adult.
The film did not explain the characters very well. With Libby, there was no explanation of why she was so nasty or the full extent of her need to make money. There was little development of the characters, particularly the sisters. Very little mention to Michelle’s diaries were made. The film made it easier to guess what was going to happen, but that said I did of course already know from reading the book. The end of the film didn’t really feel like a solid ending or conclusion, however it was the same ending as in the book.