This is the highly anticipated adaptation of the best selling thriller by British author Paula Hawkins. The Girl on The Train was a taut, psychological thriller labelled “The Next Gone Girl” Has this translated to the big screen or were things best left on the page?
Rachel is a damaged alcoholic commuter who rides the train every day from upstate New York into Manhattan On her journey, she beings watching a young couple who live close to the house she used to share with her ex-husband. She fantasises about the life the couple have and begins to see them as perfect. One day she witnesses something that not only damages her fantasy but leads her question everything she believes to be real and when the girl she is spying on goes missing, she poses as her friend and tries to find out what happened.
I went into this with some big expectations, billed as the next Gone Girl is one thing, but the poster teased “The novel that shocked the world” High praise indeed, what we get however is a painfully dull thriller with a twist that is so obvious that in spite of figuring it out in the first half hour, I spent the rest of the film looking for something deeper as I asked myself the question, it can not be that simple, can it? Sadly, yes it is.
I am getting ahead of myself a little, while the this does share similarities with Gone Girl, this film is vastly inferior. The fractured narrative structure that served Gone Girl so well, is frustratingly dull here as we jump back and forward between the lives of 3 woman. The main problem and jarring difference between the two is that the first hour of The Girl on The Train is just excruciatingly slow. For a psychological thriller, particularly one that “shocked the world” it certainly takes its time getting going. When things do pick up and we get to the thriller part the film has almost outstayed its welcome and is actually verging on melodrama.
Emily Blunt is a great actress and she does her best to elevate her fractured alcoholic but is fighting a losing battle and just comes across as irritating. Rebecca Ferguson is as wooden as she was in last years Mission:Impossible and Hayley Bennet is nothing more than a bargain basement Jennifer Lawerence in the victim role. Not even Lisa Kudrow showing up in a “I am too big a star to appear in one scene, I must be back later with a crucial plot point” cameo and the great Allison Janney as the world’s most ineffective police detective can save things. Luke Evans and Edgar Ramirez are totally wasted, with Justin Theroux fairly only mildly better in the husband role.
This is just a poor film. It’s far to slow to start and sports a twist that Jessica Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote kids) would have wrapped up by the first ad break. From what I have heard for my friends who have read the book, this stodgy thriller nowhere near does the book justice. My advice to you would be check out the book, it will be 100 times more rewarding than sitting through this frustrating thriller, that or go rent Gone Girl. The novel may have shocked the world, the film? I doubt it will make the same impression.
Thanks for reading. Hope you folks enjoyed yourselves, catch ya later on down the trail.