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We've all experienced the same monotonous train commute to work in our
lives at some point. You go by the same places and see the same faces
each and every day. None of us have quite had a commute that changes
our lives quite like Rachel Watson in The Girl on the Train though.
Emily Blunt stars as Rachel Watson, an alcoholic divorcée who takes the same train to work each day. On her journey, Rachel fantasises about the relationship of Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett), who live a few doors down from her ex-husband, Tom (Justin Theroux), and his new wife, Anna (Rebecca Ferguson).
Rachel's unstable state leads her on a downward spiral that sees her embroiled in a missing persons investigation that will change her life forever.
Based on the best-selling novel by Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train is a mystery thriller that reminded me of David Fincher's Gone Girl, which is not a bad thing at all. Now, while I don't think this is a better film than Gone Girl, I do think it serves up a worthy mystery that kept me guessing right up until the twist/reveal later on in the story.
The narrative is told from the point of view of the three main female characters; Rachel, Anna and Megan. It could have easily become quite convoluted and messy yet Erin Cressida Wilson's screenplay allows things to move along smoothly and without any confusion.
A lot of my hopes for this film were depending on the twist/reveal that would undoubtedly arrive in a mystery like this. Thankfully I can say that it was very well done and actually offered something totally different to what I was expecting. Yes, it gets a little far-fetched in the final act but if you go with it, The Girl on the Train really is a suspenseful watch.
Coming to the performances, The Girl on the Train features a great lead performance from Emily Blunt and a solid supporting cast, Haley Bennett and Rebecca Ferguson jumping on the paranoia train with Emily Blunt to great effect.
So, if you're a fan of either mysteries or thrillers, The Girl on the Train will be a journey you want to go on. If not, best to wait at the platform for the next train.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Girl on the Train is a novel that kind of jumped up on the world,
especially with the unbelievable success of the book and movie versions
of Gone Girl. Since then, this sub-genre of Domestic Noir has exploded
and it seems that every novel that can be compared to Gone Girl has
been optioned for a film: this, and Renee Knight's Disclaimer had the
film rights purchased before the novels were even released to the
public! It's a bandwagon that needs to stop, because I cannot
understand how this movie could've been so disappointing and poor as it
As an Englishman, the film's location shift did aggravate me a lot. It's one of those things that changes nothing but everything at the same time; the train system in London is a very different one to New York, where it's more underground based. But that's a setting thing, doesn't affect the movie as a whole. What does affect the movie is how viciously, and how insufferably BORING IT IS! Seriously, this film treats everything like its the most binal and uninteresting thing, in which all the characters talk in flat and monotone voices, and the fact that screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson has removed so much of the kinks and human error from it. Add to this is that most of the characters are completely flat, with almost no backstory - the only real "backstories" being had by Megan and Rachel, more of those in a second - and this makes everything SO hard to sit through, or barely care when stuff happens. Tate Taylor, who made the excellent The Help some years ago, and directed his actors in that with such confidence and zest, makes me wonder why this movie is so lifeless, and why he struggled to direct his actors in this with any human qualities to them. It's like he is trying to out-Gone Girl Gone Girl, but the problem with that is that David Fincher is clearly more adept at darker material; the way Fincher accentuates moments of extreme pivotal violence, like Amy's murder of Desi, or gives a clear indication of where/when stuff is happening, or made the only real monster of the movie Gone Girl Amy, and made the others human but just flawed in some way. Everyone here is just nasty, in some way, but in such unremarkable ways - or ways that are made to feel unremarkable, such as Rachel inserting herself into Scott Hipwell's life after his wife is murdered.
OK, Rachel's backstory is quickly glossed over; she was unable to conceive, so she began her spiral into alcoholism. That's it for her, and Emily Blunt, who is at her best when portraying characters being slowly broken down by life, does her best, but as stated, there's really no humanity to Rachel, so alas is all blowing into the wind. Megan, played by Haley Bennett, is by far the most tragic character, and that is because we can see how irreparably damaged she is from the death of a baby she conceived at a young age, to the point where she ends up in the situation that gets her killed. And Anna? Yeah, she's just there, she does nothing short of providing a good ending for Rachel, but all of her vindictive attitude is removed from the book, and so Rebecca Ferguson looks completely lost and is easily the weakest of the 3 main characters. Luke Evans tries, but is stumped by the absurd amount of sex scenes him and Bennett are involved with and an absence of character beyond that. And Justin Theroux as Tom is just a nasty guy; now, in the novel he's a nasty guy, but he was a nasty guy with a past, and in this he has no past.
Really, in the end, Blunt and Bennett tried. Thumbs up for that. This movie however is just jumping on the Gone Girl bandwagon, but not taking the effort or care that movie took with its material. Just...just read the book.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Based on a best selling novel and with a huge marketing campaign to
back the film, The Girl On The Train oddly became one of the most
anticipated films of the Autumn to Christmas period... But instead of
being the Guardians of the Galaxy of this period the film fairs as well
as this years Suicide Squad. The Girl On The Train is absolutely
terrible and I feel rather sorry for Emily Blunt who I feel is left
alone trying to salvage this wreckage.
The film is so melodramatic that it is physically exhausting. The script is I feel mainly to blame as many lines, especially Megan's, feel extremely pretentious and I can't help but roll my eyes almost every time someone speaks. Not only is the dialogue over the top but the characters are written in such an unlikable way and the story's progression is simply boring with one or two exceptions. I also took issue with some of the plot points but I am unaware if this fault lies with the book itself, or the film has adapted it and executed it in such a poor way... I think I'll give the book the benefit of the doubt and stick to the film as this must have been a Best Selling Book for a reason.
The characters in this film are extremely unlikable to the point that anything they say or do annoyed me. The frustrating thing about these characters, and this is again Megan's character mainly, is that they are often perfectly happy and fine but seem to go out their way to screw their lives up (with the obvious exception of Rachel). Megan was a huge issue for me as she had a seemingly happy life, she worked in galleries and with children and had a husband who loved her... But she just has to sleep around with the entire male cast to the point that you feel exactly what Rachel felt when she saw her from the train. Megan's character is rage inducing and for that I simply didn't care if she was alive or dead but instead wanted to give the culprit a medal... But even the culprit is a frustratingly irritating ass.
The best thing about this film by far is Emily Blunt's acting. I would call it the films saving grace but this film is far from saving. Blunt's performance of an alcoholic, voyeuristic, lonely woman who takes the same train everyday to watch the "perfect couple" is great. Of course the lines she is given aren't that great and her character is again irritatingly stupid I'm surprised Alison Janney didn't wack handcuffs on her, but as the plot thickens so does your understanding of her character and so she is excused. As I said earlier I feel rather sorry for Blunt who is tasked with holding the whole film together, but it sadly isn't enough even though she tried so hard and got so far, in the end it didn't even matter.
Overall, The Girl On The Train is one of the worst films of the year in my opinion. The Suicide Squad of the Autumn - December movie season. Emily Blunt tries her best but it isn't enough to save this melodramatic mess. Fan's of the book I'm sorry if I offend and I'm sure the book is good and worth the time to read... But the film is simply not worth the 112 minutes and the anger it generates. Stand aside Amy Schumer this film is the real Trainwreck.
The book is a terrific and engrossing read, with a lot of tension and
suspense, a clear timeline and while the characters are unpleasant you
understand why they are.
In comparison 'The Girl on the Train' is down there among the most underwhelming book-to-film adaptations, with everything that made the book so good being completely lost in translation in the film. However it also is a failure on its own terms as an overall film, one doesn't even need to have read the book or have knowledge of it to still consider 'The Girl on the Train' a disappointment. If anybody likes the film, that's absolutely fine and good for them, as a huge mystery-thriller fan this was one of the year's biggest letdowns while not quite being bad enough to be one of the year's worst.
Comparisons to 'Gone Girl', which has a similar tone and a couple of similar themes, and almost universally negatively is understandable and inevitable. Will try and keep the comparison brief, to me 'Gone Girl' is the vastly superior film, actually being a good, no great, film. It isn't perfect, faltering at the end with a conclusion that feels abrupt and illogical, but it's better made and directed (the direction was one of the best things about that film, while the direction here dooms this film), the "Cool Girl" monologue alone is much better than any of the dialogue in this film, that had tension, suspense, emotion and delicious black but subtle humour and Rosamund Pike's performance is one of that year's best performances and in the top end of the best Oscar-nominated performances of this decade.
What saves 'The Girl on the Train' from crashing and burning completely is the acting, which is terrific on the whole. The women do fare better than the men, though the men, with Justin Theroux being the most believable, are no slouches either. Emily Blunt's lead performance in particular is sensational. The exceptions though are Rebecca Ferguson, who looks lost with a character completely stripped of what made her interesting before, and Edgar Ramirez who comes over as annoying. Danny Elfman's score is one of his more understated and memorable ones in recent years, not his best work by any stretch but tonally it fits very well, being soothing yet unsettling.
However, Tate Taylor as director is clearly ill at ease with the dark material, because throughout it's stiff, indifferent and far too much of one mood. The story is a complete mess, with no tension or suspense whatsoever and plot twists that are introduced abruptly and are executed confusingly, even incomprehensibly, due to the lack of a clear time line and with little surprises. The pace really drags on constantly so the film is constantly as dull as dishwater and there is an overload of sex scenes that are also tasteless as well as being melodramatic with the subtlety of an axe. In the end, one doesn't care how it ends and the ending or the revelation of the culprit are not done particularly well. The culprit's identity is not that shocking and is revealed too early, and then the film meanders on for another half an hour when the film could easily have ended at the revelation.
Another huge let-down is the very soap-opera-ish, underwritten and very half-baked script, that doesn't do anything to develop the characters, who are nasty without explanation or reason to be so it makes them empty and very difficult to relate to their situations. The production design is good but wasted by the very made for TV way the film is shot and edited. Particularly bad is the haphazard editing.
Overall, doesn't completely crash and burn due to the acting (especially Blunt) and the score but derails very quickly and is a train-wreck on the whole. 3/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Should movie be titled "Drunk Girl on the Train".
This movie is so man-hating only the most fanatic SJW could love it.
It is so depressing you might need meds afterwards. The characters are profoundly unsympathetic and miserable to watch.
Drunk Girl's plot is so full of holes it is laughably unbelievable. The movie can't seem to decide if it is in NY or the UK which only adds to the confusion. Rachel, the supposed hero of this movie is an alcoholic stalker who downs hard liquor all day while stalking people from her old neighborhood (her fav is stalking the neighborhood from the train). She calls her ex-husband's home constantly at all hours... but none of her victims seem to ever think to change their phone number or even block the calls? Rachel drops in uninvited to her ex's home from time to time and kidnaps a child from her ex's new marriage which the police are aware of this but Rachel is somehow still walking around a free woman? On top of that no one seems to even think about getting a restraining order against Rachel??? Her ex is a psychopathic murderer but somehow lets all this behavior slide? And then the ex-husband murders a neighbor nympho girl (a girl who abhors the thought of having kids) because the nympho girl is pregnant and wants to keep the baby (who truly could have been anyone's)? I wish I could un-watch it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Saw the film two days ago. It started alright but just never really went anywhere in terms of drama, intrigue, pace, suspense or any of the key components of a murder mystery thriller. By the end of the film you just don't feel anything for any of the film's main characters. Having not read the book, I can't say whether the book is suspenseful but the film has less drama than the current Southern rail conductors strikes. When eventually the killer confronts Emily Blunt's character you really don't give a flying fig. The film makes me relish even more, wonderful murder thrillers like Jagged Edge, Seven, Fargo, The lives of others, Silence of the Lambs, and Basic Instinct.
First off, I will admit that I've not read the bestselling book that
The Girl on the Train is based on so my thoughts are based purely on
the movie adaptation.
I usually love a fast paced thriller with twists and turns to keep me metaphorically on the edge of cinema seat. The trailers had led me to believe this might be the case for The Girl on the Train. How wrong I was.
The screenplay and direction were often sloppy while the editing was so messy it often felt like scenes were pieced together purely at random. I really struggled to warm to or identify with any of the characters in a film where all men are portrayed as controlling and deplorable and any sense of female empowerment is lost amidst the absurdity of the relentlessly twisting plot.
I have to call out Emily Blunt's stunning lead performance - she steals every scene she's in with a nuanced, conflicted and honest portrayal of a complex and intriguing character. Quality support performances from Luke Evans and Haley Bennet help but don't save the movie and most other characters are so slight and one-dimensional that they fade into the background.
The Girl on the Train felt like Gone Girl without the tension, emotion or drama.
"The Girl on a Train" is the film adaptation of the best-seller by
Paula Hawkins, transported from the London suburbs to New York's
It's actually rather a sordid story encompassing as it does alcoholism, murder, marital strife, deceit, sexual frustration, an historical tragedy and lashings and lashings of violence. Emily Blunt ("Sicario", "Edge of Tomorrow") plays Rachel, a divorcée with an alcohol problem who escapes into an obsessive fantasy each day as she passes her former neighbourhood on her commute into the city. Ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux, "Zoolander 2") lives in her old house with his second wife Anna (Rebecca "MI:5" Ferguson) and new baby Evie. But her real fantasy rests with cheerleader- style young neighbour Megan (Haley Bennett) who is actually locked in a frustratingly child-free marriage (frustrating for him at least) with the controlling and unpredictable Scott (Luke Evans, "The Hobbit"). A sixth party in this complex network is Megan's psychiatrist Dr Kamal Abdic (Édgar Ramírez, "Joy").
In pure Hitchcockian style Megan witnesses mere glimpses of events from her twice-daily train and from these pieces together stories that suitably feed her psychosis. When 'shit gets real' and a key character goes missing, Megan surfaces her suspicions and obsessions to the police investigation (led by Detective Riley, the ever-excellent Allison Janney from "The West Wing") and promptly makes herself suspect number one.
Readers of the book will already be aware of the twists and turns of the story, so will watch the film from a different perspective than I did. (Despite my best intentions I never managed to read the book first).
First up, you would have to say that Emily Blunt's performance is outstanding in an extremely challenging acting role. Every nuance of shame, confusion, grief, fear, doubt and anger is beautifully enacted: it would not be a surprise to see her gain her first Oscar nomination for this. All the other lead roles are also delivered with great professionalism, with Haley Bennett (a busy month for her, with "The Magnificent Seven" also out) being impressive and Rebecca Ferguson, one of my favourite current actresses, delivering another measured and delicate performance.
The supporting roles are also effective, with Darren Goldstein as the somewhat creepy "man in the suit" and "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow popping up in an effective and pivotal role. The Screen Guild Awards have an excellent category for an Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture, and it feels appropriate to nominate this cast for that award.
So it's a blockbuster book with a roller-coaster story and a stellar cast, so what could go wrong? Well, something for sure. This is a case in point where I suspect it is easier to slowly peel back Rachel's lost memory with pages and imagination than it is with dodgy fuzzy images on a big screen. Although the film comes in at only 112 minutes, the pacing in places is too slow (the screenplay by Erin Cressida Wilson takes its time) and director Tate Taylor ("The Help") is no Hitchcock, or indeed a David Fincher (since the film has strong similarities to last year's "Gone Girl": when the action does happen it lacks style, with the violence being on the brutal side and leaving little to the imagination.
It's by no means a bad film, and worth seeing for the acting performances alone. But it's not a film I think that will trouble my top 10 for the year.
(Agree? Disagree? For the graphical version of this review and to comment please visit bob-the-movie-man.com. Thanks.)
I have been on IMDb for a number of years and always rate the movies i watch. I have not written many reviews,however i think i needed to write this one. This film is brilliant. I haven't read the book but the story was excellent and having read reviews i am disappointed with the negative reviews of this masterclass in story and film making. Do not be put off folks, this was a real thriller mystery and deserves a big 9.the acting was superb,and having been in a drunken state myself for a time they couldn't have put it more realistic. Enjoy its really good, please check my review scores before taking my opinion,i don't like crap as you will see.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
At first I thought this going to be something different. Shrouded in
mystery and so on but boy was I wrong. In the immortal words of John
Belushi: "But noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" When I think of this movie
I think about what Chris Rock said at the Oscars this year about our
"friends" in Hollywood: "These are nice people, you know liberals."
Ended seeing this @ a screening at the DGA in NYC. Catching the 1PM showing figured would not be packed house. Sure enough it was. Anyway the best way to describe this is that it is a hate-athon and an indictment against all men. Oddly enough even the book seems to say so. The ex- husband is a murderer and a nymphomaniac but we never find out why he is so dysfunctional except that he seems to be a misogynist; then another male cast member who plays the boyfriend commits the cardinal sin in that he wants to have a family while his resident Jezebel GF is derisive and makes comments like: "Ardlsey-on-the- Hudson is a baby factory." At that moment the misanthropic by and large audience @ DGA snickered and laughed in a sinister fashion. Then another male character is a psychiatrist who at best pretends to observe the patient doctor relationship but oversteps his boundaries.
The most sinister part of this trash is when Emily Blunt stabs her ex- husband with a corkscrew only for his current wife to screw it in deeper. At that moment this liberal audience laughed in a sinister fashion yet again.
So much for Hollywood pretending it wants to heal the rifts whether it is a religious; gender based or whatever. When in doubt Hollywood will always indict and crucify men in perpetuity.
Another thing that I found bizarre was that production ISO finding someone from the background artists to work with Emily they picked the 1st AD when the 2-women blared out an F-bomb against Anna Boyd.
All in all an extreme disappointment that this kind of garbage of political correctness fascism still gets shoved down our throats in spite of a stellar cast this is something that should be just incinerated.
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