Directed by: Tate Taylor
Screenplay by: Erin Cressida Wilson
Based on: ‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins
Starring: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramírez; Lisa Kudrow.
Alcoholism, restlessness; hurt – The Girl on the Train is a film about the possibilities, the capabilities of someone lost.
The focus of the film surrounds the mystery of the main character, Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) watching the world go by through the window of a train.
Sure, Rachel’s got her problems: she drinks, she lies, she has blackouts, and she wants what she can’t have. And the audience, watching the world with her, sympathise: her heart’s in the right place – right?
But the slow reveal of Rachel’s unravelling makes us wonder just what she’s capable of.
And there lies the mystery. What is really happening here? Just how lost is Rachel?
The Girl on the Train is a movie of perspectives. Of what people see compared to what goes on behind closed doors. This is a film about what’s revealed to the audience and when. And I think the mystery was handled well by director Tate Taylor (who won a BAFTA Award for best adapted screenplay for, Help (2011)).
I’m just going to say it – I found the book a slow read. So for once and a rarity for me to say, the condensing of the story into a movie length narrative made for a more dramatic reveal. The film concentrated on the main thrust of the story, of Rachel, of her illness, about her blackouts; about what actually happened on that fateful day.
No one can say that Emily Blunt can’t act, and indeed, her acting kept The Girl on the Train firmly on track. Blunt is phenomenal in Sicario (2015), one of my favourites and I recently re-watched Looper (2012) – another fantastic movie starring Blunt. I like her authentic, down-to-earth style and think she’s fast becoming one of the greats. And her performance here is to be commended.
Also to note was the performance of Haley Bennett as the saucy Megan Hipwell and Justin Theroux as Rachel’s ex, Tom Watson.
In conclusion, I have to say there’s no real punch here and I wasn’t on the edge-of-my-seat, but The Girl on the Train is an absorbing mystery, shown well.
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