August 31, 2017
Much is said about David Fincher’s obsession with detail, every frame having to believably exist in the world he has created. Furthermore, this attention to detail extends beyond visual narrative storytelling. It also commands every protagonist Fincher has ever brought to life.
One character in particular most mirrors Fincher’s own obsession with perfection—Michael Douglas’ Nicholas van Orton. In The Game, Douglas portrays a character so seduced by the compulsion to maintain his lavish lifestyle that he has subjected himself to a lonely state of living.
It is within the character of van Orton that Fincher brings to life his most honest portrayal of loneliness. Whereas in Gone Girl we were shown loneliness through the prism of married life, or within Fight Club by the shackles of a consumerist society, The Game projects loneliness in its truest form. Unless others place themselves in the same vicinity as van Orton, our protagonist never engages with humanity. He is as internally isolated as he is externally.
Published on Aug 30, 2017
3 thoughts on “The Game and Fincher’s Perfect Lonely Protagonist”
Thanks for the link. I have to admit, I really underestimated The Game back then. I think because it was so different from Se7en. Then after Fight Club, I realised that: this guy has range, he can do anything 😉 And I looked at The Game from this different perspective and I loved it. Michael Douglas is a perfect casting as Van Orton. He gives such a subtle performance, one of his best roles. And the music… I just love the atmosphere of this film. And now it stands as one of the most original films of the 90’s. It definitely stood the test of time.
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I completely agree.
And I understand the concerns Ceán Chaffin had over the plot, especially the weaker third act, but Fincher, Douglas and Shore elevated the whole thing into a deeply moody, psychological affair that lingers on.
thanks for this article. The Game is a personal favorite for years and years. Fincher’s movies like Seven or Fight Club are brilliant, but you can’t connect with these movies as intimately as you do with The games and the loneliness of Van Orton. I was profoundly depressed when i watched the Game for the first time, and it was clear and obvious that Van Orton suffered from severe depression too ( which is lack of feelings …it is not ” feeling sad” ). The way Van Orton deals with depression is subtle and very accurate, making Michael Douglas one of the greatest actor on this planet. He didn”t use ” tricks” usually used by actors ( overacting with sad music in the background )
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