Commuter Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of her train. One day, Watson witnesses something shocking unfold in the backyard of the strangers’ home. Rachel tells the authorities what she thinks she saw after learning that Megan is now missing and feared dead. Unable to trust her own memory, the troubled woman begins her own investigation, while police suspect that Rachel may have crossed a dangerous line.
Dubbed as the new “Gone Girl”, The Girl on The Train is a suspenseful thriller that I’m sure will pack cinemas this Autumn. After watching the trailer several months ago, I knew this was my type of film. I went to see it on Saturday and overall I really enjoyed it; there were a few things that could have been improved but I think it will be an audience pleaser.
Emily Blunt’s Performance – Despite the plot which some might not like, Blunt’s performance as the alcoholic Rachel is probably her best performance to date. She plays a drunk well, Phil Mitchell style drunk (British soap reference). She gives different dimensions to the character of Rachel, who drinks her sorrows away after finding out she can’t have children and her husband leaving her for his pregnant mistress. Some scenes are very uncomfortable to watch to the point where it comes off as disturbing.
Overall Visuals – The cinematography is outstanding, from the visuals we see on the train as it depicts Rachel’s state of mind (whether she is blindingly drunk or stone cold sober), the city visuals, to the suburban setting with the tunnel and woods depicting a dark mystery surrounding a young woman’s disappearance.
Haley Bennet’s Performance – Bennet’s performance as Megan, the young woman Rachel watches on her commute who dissapears one evening, is a breakout moment. She gives a vulnerable performance of a woman who seems to have the picturesque life but is deeply unhappy. Bennet seems miles away from her role as International pop star Cora Corman in “Music and Lyrics”.
Danny Elfman’s Score – Like many of his previous scores for films and shows such as “Edward Scissorhands”, and “Desperate Housewives”, Elfman provides the perfect score to highlight suburban living with dark and sinister undertones that give the film more depth.
Little character development for Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) – I Liked that they gave the three women (Rachel, Megan, and Anna) a backstory and highlight how they are ver much alike, but I was a little disappointed that they gave so much character development with Rachel and Megan yet there wasn’t much to tell with Anna. We see flashbacks and development with Rachel and Megan and we get to see what they are like and why “they are the way they are”, but very little with Anna apart from a flashback scene back to when Tom was having an affair with her. I would have liked to see more of her story, how she felt about the affair, and more of an in-depth look at Anna’s feelings towards Rachel before and after Tom’s divorce.
SPOILER POINT (DON’T READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM)
Lack of an in-depth look of Rachel and Tom’s marriage – Although they showed various flashbacks between Tom and Rachel, there wasn’t much depth to them. I would have liked to have seen the breakdown of their marriage, and gone more in depth with how Tom manipulated and abused Rachel while she was heavily intoxicated.
Plot Twist – To be honest I guessed Tom was the guy Megan was having an affair with and eventually murdered about 40 minutes into the movie. I think the only thing I was surprised about was Tom manipulating Rachel’s memories while she was drunk to make him seem like he’s a good guy. I would have liked it if it had the viewers questioning themselves a bit more thinking it was Megan’s husband or even making it look more and more like Rachel (who may have thought it was Anna). I wanted the twist to get under the viewers skin and for me it failed a bit.
Overall despite the disappointing ending and the writer, director, producers etc. not properly utilising the material the film was based on, it was really enjoyable. It is certainly no “Gone Girl” but it had very strong performances from the cast, outstanding visuals and a eerie yet hypnotic score.
Final Rating – 3.5/5