The Girl on Train

Emily Blunt in The Girl on The Train (NuMetro)
Emily Blunt in The Girl on The Train (NuMetro)

What it's about:

Rachel is devastated by her recent divorce, and spends her daily commute fantasising about the seemingly perfect couple that lives in a house that her train passes every day, until, one morning she sees something shocking happen there, and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

What we thought:

The film adaptation of Paula Hawkins's 2015 bestselling thriller novel The Girl on the Train is not half bad. With just enough suspense, creepiness and intrigue to keep the audience interested.

Blunt portrays the role of Rachel Watson the depressed, sloppy alcoholic ex-wife who is still hung-up on her ex-husband, Tom (Justin Theroux). Tom is now married to Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), with whom he has a baby. 

Blunt really had to dig deep into her heart to find that amount of hurt and vulnerability. From the smeared eyeliner, puffy red eyes, pieces of puke in her hair and drunken conversations with strangers, Blunt went there. And it wasn’t always pretty.

Sipping vodka from a fancy water bottle, hoping nobody would notice just how sloshed she is. Rachel is close to reaching rock bottom. But there is hope, and she evoked just the right amount of sympathy, and hopefulness that would turn things around.

So, moral of the story in bad situations, it can help to imagine the world to be the way you want it to be. However, there's a danger of going too far…?

I was happy to see that the filmmaker stuck to narrative told from the point of view of the three women: Rachel, Anna and Megan. 

But this brought on some problems. At some points I found it a little difficult to really get into the character’s heads, and at I got a little lost with all the switches between past and present day. 

There were also a couple of things I found a little hard to wrap my head around:

1. How realistic is it for someone to see inside people’s homes, even being able to make out their facial features, all from a moving train?

2. If the train was that close to their homes for Rachel to see into their house, the sound of the passing train should have disturbed the residents. But they seemed blissfully unaware of the noise and carried on as usual, relaxing in the backyard.

3. I was a little bit disappointed that the movie wasn't set in London, like in the novel, but instead in Manhattan. Aside from the location change, the plot more or less followed that of the novel. 

Blunt’s solid and believable performance was the key factor that kept this movie from derailing. 

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