The Girl on the Train

"Very Good"

The Girl on the Train Review


As the director of The Help, Tate Taylor may seem like an odd choice to make a movie based on Paula Hawkins' sexy mystery thriller bestseller. While the film features three central female characters, it also has a dark and twisty plot. Taylor manages to bring out plenty of insinuating textures in the characters to keep the audience intrigued, but he never quite gets a grip on the Hitchcockian elements of this story about identity and life expectations.

The title character is Rachel (Emily Blunt), who commutes into Manhattan every day, observing life in the suburban homes along the train line. She's particularly fascinated by one house and the blonde woman (Haley Bennett) who lives there with her lusty husband (Luke Evans). But the fact is that Rachel knows this woman: she's Megan, the nanny who takes care of the infant daughter of Rachel's ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux) and his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), who live just a few doors down. And Rachel has a history of stalking them. Then she spots Megan with another man (Edgar Ramirez), just before Megan goes missing. So when Rachel emerges from yet another black-out drunken stupor, she begins to worry about what she might have done.

This is another challenging role for Blunt, who plays the shattered Rachel with raw grit. This is a woman who doesn't trust her own mind, knows that she drinks far too much and feels incapable of getting over her past mistakes. The film also occasionally circles around to show scenes from Megan's and Anna's perspectives, and both Bennett and Ferguson bring superbly unsteady textures to the roles. These are three complex, flawed women dealing with very big issues in their lives. And there are smaller but pivotal roles for the gifted Alison Janney (as a detective), Laura Prepon (as Rachel's flatmate) and Lisa Kudrow (as an old friend). By comparison the men are a bit simplistic.

But then, that's the point of this story, which circles around in a swirl of flashbacks that are unnecessarily and confusingly labelled (we lose track of what was "four months ago"). This fragmented plotting allows screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson to play with the puzzle pieces, dropping in clues and red herrings until the full picture finally emerges. Best of all is how the truth catches most of the characters by surprise too. Where this is heading may not be completely unexpected, but the film is much more engaging because of the thoughts and feelings these three women experience along their haunting personal journeys.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for The Girl On The Train:



The Girl on the Train

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th October 2016

Box Office USA: $207,323.00

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Production compaines: DreamWorks, Marc Platt Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 46 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Tate Taylor

Producer: Jared LeBoff,

Starring: as Anna Watson, as Rachel Watson, as Megan Hipwell, as Scott Hipwell, as Cathy, as Dr. Kamal Abdic, as Tom Watson, as Monica, Marko Caka as Businessman Gallery, Darren Goldstein as Man in Suit, Lana Young as Doctor, Frank Anello as Field Reporter, Alexander Jameson as Parochial School Kid, Mauricio Ovalle as Conductor, Ross Gibby as David, Hannah Kurczeski as Parochial School Kid, Gregory Morley as Officer Pete, Guy Sparks as Uniformed NYPD Officer, Sidney Beitz as Train Commuter, Jalina Mercado as Parochial School Kid, Athena Stuebe as Parochial Student, Tod Rainey as Grand Central Traveler, Leilah Marie Giddens as Parochial School Kid, Claire Manship as Pacing Woman, Danielle M. Williamson as Student on Bus, Phil Oddo as Train Passenger, Paul Galbraith as Commuter, Jesse VanDerveer as Parochial Student, Tim Wiencis as Uniformed NYPD Police Officer, Kevin D. McGee as Passenger, Kristina Nichole as Parochial School Kid, Rachel Christopher as Woman with Child, Eddie Sellner as Grand Central Commuter, Conor Hovis as Smoking Teen #2, Sergei Ashurov as Core Commuter / Parent (uncredited), Samantha Lee Johnson as Grand Central Commuter (uncredited), Faith Logan as Grand Central Commuter (uncredited), Doris McCarthy as Businesswoman (uncredited), Craig Moruzzi as Jungle Gym Boy (uncredited)

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