“The Girl on the Train” is not unenjoyable
An alcoholic divorcee uses public transportation to commute to her non-existent job in the city. Everyday she hops on a train, hoping to discretely stalk her old house where her ex-husband and his new wife live. As she peers through the window, she is also watching her ex-husband’s neighbors, a young couple, and what she believes to be the epitome of a perfect marriage.
“The Girl on the Train” is the critically-acclaimed suspense film of the season. The film showcases the acting prowess of Emily Blunt, Allison Janney, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, and up-and-coming Haley Bennett.
Bennett plays the character Megan, whose disappearance sets the plot in motion.
Blunt’s character Rachel, the protagonist of the film, is suspect number one. Waking up as a murder suspect after a blacked out night of drinking, Rachel cannot remember if she killed Megan or not.
It was this question that wound itself masterfully throughout the entire film. Director Tate Taylor kept the audience on its toes: not once did the audience seem to know who was the actual killer. Every time evidence presented a more probable suspect, the script provided a new revelation that messed with the audience’s intuition and caused everyone to question a new character.
Based on Paula Hawkins’ novel, the movie takes an old-time theme of cheating and deception and tries to reinvigorate it. Set during a gloomy fall on the East Coast, the film provides viewers with deceptive plot. While this film was captivating, the main downside is that the storyline is set in motion because of a cheating husband, and by the time the credits roll, you realize that this was the same thing that created the plot of “Gone Girl”. Both “Gone Girl” and “The Girl on the Train” started with a cheating husband.
Even though Taylor had the audience guessing the killer until the end of the film, the big reveal seemed cliche. It was as if “The Other Woman,” the 2014 romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz, met “Gone Girl”, the 2014 thriller starring Rosamund Pike, and this film was their baby.
Bennett played Megan well, and excellently acted the part of the disillusioned housewife who is defined by her impulse to run. That being said, the script couldn’t seem to decide if Megan was a manipulator or if she was a victim who had just fallen into bad habits.
Where Bennett’s character faltered, Blunt’s character prospered. Rachel, played by Blunt, turned into a character that you could root for, despite being a hot mess for the first half of the movie. Even though she was an alcoholic, Rachel’s determination to uncover the truth and struggle to move on from her ex-husband made her the perfect underdog. Blunt did such a phenomenal job of portraying a woman close to the end of her rope that you could almost smell the alcohol seeping through her clothing.
Up until the last minute, the film was captivating, but after the credits roll you might ponder whether the film has actually made any pioneering steps in the thriller and suspense genre. It seemed that when the film finished it wasn’t revolutionary.
Written by Sarah Brewington, Associate Editor