Gone Baby Gone is a tightly shot suspense story about a young girl kidnapped from her irresponsible and seemingly uninterested mother. When the kidnapping occurs, the mother seems much more interested in how this all affects her than she does with the safety of her four-year old daughter.
As is the case with many of the novels in the series of books focused on these characters, there ends up being more at stake than just a simple case of who is right and who is wrong. Much deeper dilemmas present themselves and the film raises the question of whether the wrong action taken for the right reasons can in fact be the right action to take.
To some this film may seem like a simple suspense thriller. However, the ethical questions the story poses move it beyond this type of story and make it more of a morality play.
It seems weird to focus on a tagline for a film. Usually, they’re these quick little one line “Sound”-bytes that are meant to provide some sort of intrigue to tease the senses. But one of the taglines of Gone Baby Gone was “Everyone wants the truth…until they find it.” It is one of only a handful of taglines which really do justice to a film. Often times, the truth can be dirty and ugly and we wish we could ignore it and that it was something different. As this film progresses, it becomes clear that the story presented is one of those cases.
Much has been made in recent years of the talent of Casey Affleck. He has come to show himself as an actor of equal talent to his brother in performances such as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, his smaller role in Interstellar, and most recently Manchester by the Sea. That acting is on full display in Gone Baby Gone, where he is able to convey the full range of emotions from sadness, to outrage, to anger, to biting sarcasm. He was the perfectly chosen actor for the part.
His brother Ben made his feature directorial debut and wrote his first feature film screenplay since 1997’s Good Will Hunting, showing the talent he has behind the camera as well as in front of it. Affleck shows he knows exactly what he is doing helming a film.