Thursday, February 2

The Girl on the Train

There was a lot of hype surrounding this movie - from the cast down to its intensive marketing as the next 'Gone Girl'. The Girl on the Train mainly tells the story of Rachel, an alcoholic who commutes to the city every day. On her way to work, she always passes by a house where she envisions the couple living there to be the happiest of couples, just like she and her ex-husband were. It also happens that she used to live a few houses away from the couple, and her house is now occupied by her husband and his new wife.

Rachel's story begins to escalate - she stalks her husband and his wife, even so far as she was accused of 'child abduction'. She's an alcoholic who can't stop drinking no matter how she tries. On top of her spiraling life, she finds herself in a middle of a missing person investigation. The missing person - the woman who she used to observe everyday from her commute to and from the city.

The narrative breaks into three parts and spans two timelines - Rachel and Anna run in the present, and Megan telling her story in the past. While this narrative aims to tell the stories of the three women and how they get involved, it takes away from the story. The characters are surface deep; there's no attachment to any of the three women that it's hard to be sympathetic to their situation. Rachel runs around stumbling and mumbling all the time, Megan tries her best to have some sort of redemption but fails, and Anna basically acts as fodder to the story.

The movie could have used a more chilling, sinister atmosphere. The music makes things dramatic but without attachment, it's difficult to root or care for these characters. Considering that they also spent most of the time wrapped in coats and sweaters, the coldness doesn't transcend off screen.

Emily Blunt gives a mediocre but convincing performance, a far outcry from her great roles. Rebecca Ferguson and Haley Bennett give passable performances but both women could have amped it up for their character to be convincing - especially Ferguson's. Bennett's Megan needed a personality that wouldn't make you indifferent to her. The character was strolling the lines between indifference and empathy. Luke Evans and Justin Theroux both disappeared to the sidelines. I was hoping for a bit more gusto from Theroux's performance as he had his big moment to put everything in. It was still gruesome and the atmosphere really sunk in, but it wasn't enough to save this movie. The pacing only picks up at the last 30 minutes, and it had momentum that I wished was present throughout the film.

This shouldn't have been marketed as the next 'Gone Girl'; expectations from this movie could have easily stemmed from the book. However, execution was bordering mediocre to bland, a disappointing feat to what could have been a good thriller. 

4 comments:

  1. It's a shame so many early comparisons were made to Gone Girl because they're very different movies. I read the book for Girl on the Train before seeing the movie so I think that made my thoughts a little biased, I enjoyed it but I already knew much more about the characters than the movie gave away!
    Great review :)

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    1. I think this had a great cast but I found it uneven. I really dislike the Gone Girl comparison and it might have ruined any enjoyment I would have had for this movie.

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  2. I actually didn't hate that one, the book was OK but I wasn't expecting the movie to be great, Blunt was really wonderful, for me she elevated the movie and made it worth seeing

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    1. I would see Emily Blunt in anything and I was initially excited for this, but was really disappointed.

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