The Girl on the Train


Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux
Directed by Tate Taylor
Rating: B-

An alcoholic commuter spots something unusual during one uneventful train ride. This eyewitness account may be key to the investigation, if they are to be trusted.

Sometimes when you look at a person, you think you know what kind of person they are. Rachel (Blunt) spends her mornings and evenings fantasizing about a couple she sees on her commute to and from the city. In her head, she names them “Jess” and “Jason.” They are “the” perfect couple who do everything together; morning runs, relaxing coffee breaks in the backyard patio, steamy shower sessions… Rachel knows this made-up fantasy can’t be how they really live their lives, but it’s fun to pretend since her own marriage ended up a complete failure.

One morning Rachel spies “Jess” out on her patio kissing a man who is not “Jason.” This scene causes a strong flashback of feelings when Rachel reflects how her ex-husband’s own affair made her feel. Rachel can’t believe this perfect woman could be so flawed and would hurt her husband that way. She is tempted all day between bottles of alcohol of confronting “Jess” and even the woman who stole her ex-husband away.

When the news that “Jess” has become missing, Rachel entwines herself in the investigation while trying to piece together what she might have seen on the night in question.

Although half-way through reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, seeing the movie before finishing the book was a wise decision. The first half of the movie felt rushed, so when I got to unfamiliar territory during the movie, I could stop freaking out about the differences.

Of course, the book gives way more details. There is more of Megan’s perspective (the woman “Jess” is supposed to be). It shows more of her relationship with her husband and her therapist. Rachel’s alcoholism is discussed but not really delved into the movie. In the book, it gets so bad that while reading it I couldn’t help but feel disgusted with Rachel’s actions.

However, I do have to give the movie props for being as suspenseful as it was. Perhaps that’s why the beginning felt so rushed and little details were switched around in order of importance to the plot. It felt more important to tell what actually happened to Megan than show the pursuit of Rachel’s personal investigation that I could forgive the writers for changing details around.

Perhaps the ending was predictable, but it came as a shock to me and was quite the rollercoaster of emotions as the ending unfolded. The characters should have been more developed, such as Scott (the missing woman’s husband), Kathy (Rachel’s roommate), and Kamal (Megan’s therapist).

While I came away from the movie entertained by the suspense and reveal, I still left feeling like it could have been better.

Photo credit: http://www.thewrap.com/the-girl-on-the-train-review-emily-blunt/

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