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Directed by: Tate Taylor
Starring: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, and Luke Evans
I’ve had another of those random cinema trips today, what that means is that I just randomly turn up to the cinema and review the film that happens to be showing at that time. In this case, it was The Girl on the Train. It was very almost Bridget Jones’s Baby. Perhaps for another time, yes?
I honestly know very little about this film. All I know is that it’s based on a book, and I only know that because I saw it on sale in my local branch of Tesco.
The only other thing I know about this film is the casting of Emily Blunt in the leading role. I can’t say that I’m too knowledgeable on her career. I have seen her in The Devil Wears Prada, Five Year Engagement and Edge of Tomorrow, I also know that she’ll be in the upcoming My Little Pony movie (Well, I say I know but it was actually a friend who told me…. honest). I’ve also seen her in Lip Synch Battle with Anne Hathaway and I highly recommend you give that a shot on YouTube.
So what’s this film about? The Girl on the Train is centred around three women; Rachel (Blunt), Megan (Bennett), and Anna (Ferguson). Rachel is the centrepiece of the plot. She divorced from her husband (Theroux) and turned into an alcoholic as a result of the breakdown of her marriage. She takes the train into work in New York every day, and every day the train passes by her old house where she used to live with her ex-husband, who still lives there, with his new wife and child. As she attempts to not focus on her pain, she starts watching a couple who live a few houses down — Megan and Scott Hipwell (Evans). She daydreams about a wonderful dream life for them in her head, about how they are the perfect happy family. And then one day, as the train passes, she sees something which fills her with rage. The next day, she wakes up with a horrible hangover, various wounds and bruises, and no memory of the night before. She has only a feeling: something bad happened. Then come the TV reports: Megan Hipwell is missing. Rachel becomes invested in the case and trying to find out what happened to Megan, where she is, and what exactly she herself was up to that same night Megan went missing. As everything starts to add up, it’s not looking good for Rachel.
I had little to no expectations heading into this, maybe this was down to the fact that I was unfamiliar with the plot. All in all, it’s not bad.
This film reminds me so, so much of Gone Girl where you constantly find yourself going back and forth to work out who the killer is. It keeps you guessing from start to finish. I even had to ask myself if a murder even took place. Some scenes took me by surprise, one scene in particular completely threw off guard. This particular scene still chills me to the core. For the record, Gone Girl is by far the better movie and one that I highly recommend.
Emily Blunt was the standout star in this film. Her performance is complex and totally different than what we’ve seen Blunt deliver before. She is outstanding; damaged, conflicted, helpless and passionate. It’s one of those roles which demands a lot, but Blunt hits the mark perfectly. She can play a really convincing drunk. She’s like the female version of Steve McFadden in that respect, expect she isn’t over the top like Phil Butcher. In all seriousness, Blunt’s conviction makes it that much harder to support this supposed “hero” of the story.
Solid performances by Haley Bennett and Justin Theroux.
There are some negatives, though, as the film stumbles out of the blocks and takes its time to really settle its pace. There are some clunky and unnatural moments in the script both in dialogue and narration and it’s a bit of a rush to get into the characters and story. Rebecca Ferguson isn’t given much material to work with and is rather bland. There are times where she just stares off into the distance, looking gormless.
I’ve never read the book, so I can’t say for certain how much of the source material the film follows, aside from the change of location as the book is sent in London, whereas the film takes place in New York. I may read the book for myself someday. Got a ton of books on the go right now so it may take some time.
The Girl on the Train is an okay film. It’s recommendable, just not the type of film where you need to rush out and see it.
Rating: *** ½ (Aye, it’s canny, like)