The opening shot of Gone Girl begins with a view of the back of Amy Dunne’s head, resting on the stomach of her husband, Nick Dunne. It take’s Nick’s point of view and we hear his thoughts as he admires her.
“When I think of my wife, I always think of the back of her head.” We see his hand stroke her hair.
It’s a romantic entry, one of those idiosyncratic things you’d only hear someone say about someone else if they truly knew them in an intimate way. Then we hear Nick’s next thought: “I picture cracking her lovely skull, unspooling her brain, trying to get answers.” Well, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock seems to start romantically, too, until we get to the patient etherized upon the table.
He continues. “The primal questions of a marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? What have we done to each other?” Amy turns her head and looks up at Nick – looks right into the camera. Looks right at us. “What will we do?”
Fade to black. In one short shot, David Fincher has already laid a whole lot of groundwork for the rest of his movie, and given us a lot to start thinking about.