The cool thing about the movie is that it was a lot easier to figure out who did it. My husband has never read Dark Places (or any Gillian Flynn novel, for that matter), so he had no idea what he was getting into. Let me preface this by saying that he really isn’t a big movie watcher or book reader because he hates sitting still for long periods of time because he has a short attention span. While watching Dark Places, he was HOOKED. I only had to do minimal explaining regarding the plot, but he was able to get a good solid theory of who the murder was about half way through. When I read the book, I honestly couldn’t make heads from tails with what was going on because it was SO much. I love the way Gillian Flynn writes because she throws in so many little details that you get confused and forget about small things, then the ending happens and BAM all that stuff you forgot is right there in your face. Overall, the book translated very well to screen. Even if you haven’t read the book (which you need to RIGHT NOW) or plan on watching the movie with someone who hasn’t read it, it is still a good choice. Some things may be slightly confusing, but if you really pay attention (especially to the flash backs) then you can figure things out pretty easily.
One of my favorite things about the movie is how they handled present time versus flashbacks. There are a LOT of different POVs when it comes to the flashbacks, so it could have easily gotten muddled and confusing. It was directed very well and is easy to follow if you are watching Libby’s mom, Libby, or Ben’s flashback. For present time, it stays in Libby’s POV. In the book, I really liked how Gillian Flynn counted down to the night of the murder from the beginning. In the movie, it isn’t as clear as that (for example, in the book it would say Two Days before the murder) but you don’t feel like you are missing anything.
Charlize Theron killed it as Libby. I really had my doubts about her, because in the book, Libby is described as being this small statured angry woman. Charlize Theron is very tall, and I personally have not seen her in a dark role like this. SHE KILLED IT. She completely embodied Libby and all the anger that she carried. She was able to show all the emotions that Libby carried in her head, but never really showed on the outside. I think overall I really liked all of the casting. Chloe Grace Mortez was creepy as F as Deondra. I really love where her acting career is going and think this movie only added to her already stellar resume.