The Girl on the Train (2016)

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The Girl on the Train

Ninety percent of the time, I have not read the book that the film is based on. This happens to be one of those instances. The film boasts a good cast (Haley Bennett is a rising star for sure) a mysteriously intriguing premise, and solid trailers. How could anything go wrong? Sad to say I think a lot of things did go wrong here. This was quite a messy film in all honesty and a big disappointment. The film may resonate well with fans of the book, so my review is from the eyes of a film watcher solely.

The film is about an extremely disheveled woman (who also happens to be a blithering drunk) who watches a seemingly perfect couple in a house outside where her daily train stops. She is envious of Megan Hipwell, the woman who lives in that house. Oddly enough that woman lives in the house next to her former boyfriend (who has started a new family with another woman). In her drunken states she makes unwanted calls and visits to her ex’s house. One day, Megan Hipwell disappears and the cause of her disappearance leads back to one of the people who are introduced in the film. But who is it? Sound confusing? It kind of is when you have to keep thinking of what is happening where. Like the protagonist, this film is a mess.

Flashbacks are okay if done in a clean and coherent manner. This film keeps doing messy flashbacks to different stages, that it becomes a chore to keep up with the different storylines of the characters. Speaking of the characters, they are all unlikable. The protagonist is not someone I can identify with and she becomes a tiring figure as the film goes by. After a while, I got sick of seeing her character in the same zoomed in shot with a confused crying face. You can’t connect with Megan Hipwell because she’s having relationships with multiple people. Not judging her character but she’s so fleeting and doesn’t connect or commit to anyone, so not sure why we would to her. Other characters just come into play as a plot device (Lisa Kudrow’s character) and others just fade away completely (Laura Prepon).

I’m not sure how the book was written but I sure hope the twists and reveals were written better than they are adapted onto the screen. All of the thrills feel cheap and the film becomes a task to keep up with for a while, that you find it hard to care after a while. I think the main character is also a bit of an idiot at a certain point of this film but its hard to go into that without spoiling the film. I have to say, I was greatly disappointed by this film because I was expecting a decent thriller. You just wish Emily Blunt had her eyes closed on the train the whole time, thus avoiding everything that happens in the film.

5.5/10

 

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