Film Review: “The Girl on the Train” (2016) ★★★★★


The close-up view changes everything – it opens your eyes to something you had no idea about before, or even gives you an opportunity to observe the abstract happiness, that no longer appears so heavenly as it was earlier. It is then when you start asking yourself, what else does not appear the same way, or not as good as it was before? Travelling on the train every day helps you to watch people, see what they do or may not do. You watch the life that you wish can be yours. Yes, this is exactly what had visited Rachel Watson’s mind every day when she was making that long trip… What else possibly went wrong that her then-beloved husband, became an ex today? Well, we clearly know it was alcohol abuse or was it?

Emily Blunt portrays the title character who rides the train every day, mostly completely drunk. She reveals that the happy life she sees people having could have been hers as well. From the far distance from the window of her train, she finds Megan (Haley Bennett) happily married to Scott (Luke Evans). They both continue enjoying each other’s company, which makes in a way, Rachel angry. Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) also has no reason to complain about her personal life, as she is totally into her perfect marriage with Tom Watson (Justin Theroux), Rachel’s ex-husband. They even raise their own child together. Seems like the only unhappy and sad person of them all is Rachel, who is like a wondering bird trying to find a suitable home where she can settle in her state of mind.

The question whether Rachel is sane or insane person rises quickly, when the detectives pay her a visit, asking the possible whereabouts of Megan, who suddenly disappears without trace. Of course, Rachel may not right away but quickly remembers that she oversees Megan kissing another man (Edgar Ramirez) in her own house, while Scott was away. But the first question which comes to detective’s mind is, how on earth Rachel could see Megan’s adultery if they never met each other before? However, you quickly realize that something is not right about Rachel, whose constant and repetitive stalking of her ex-husband and his wife makes you worry about her well-being.

As the film continues, we see many flashbacks that help to create a puzzle for you to keep you busy throughout the film. It is almost like having a desire to jump into Rachel’s blurry and fuzzy memory that will allow you to see more than she can. That, I should say, is the best thing about The Girl on the Train based on Paula Hawkins’ novel and cleverly directed by Tate Taylor. The screenplay adapted by Erin Cressida Wilson gives enough opportunities to the three leading actresses, Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson to showcase what they are capable of. Each of them brings enough depth to the characters, which I am sure, won’t go anywhere unnoticed.

Likewise, it’s the mirror scene in the public washroom where you could clearly see the abilities Emily Blunt has, which is something many actors would like to own. With her performance, she enriches Rachel Watson in an exquisite way. She is real. Fragile. Ready to break anytime like a thin glass, but in the meantime, is able to bend tens of thousands of times without breaking. In the end, The Girl on the Train is an absolute delight to watch. It’s smart, well scripted, and can be seen as many times you wish. More importantly, it grabs your attention so quickly that, in the end, you will have no choice, but to have the same trip the girl from the train has. Just do not forget to fasten your seatbelts. Because the ride will be incredibly fast that may cause you dizziness!


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