The Girl on the Train (2016)

Still recovering from the separation with her husband, a unbalanced woman takes matters into her own hands after witnessing shocking events from afar in thrilling adaptation ‘Girl on the Train’


Film Review

Rachel takes solace in her made up world of fantasy that she creates to fill the voids left in her life. All of which is evidently as a result of the failure of her marriage and consequent downhill battle with daily life. Gradually losing sight of the life she once knew, her main pleasures come from the boozy reach for the bottle and the journey on her accustomed train route. She later becomes entwined into the lives of others after witnessing a shocking circumstance.

A gripping and suspenseful thriller communicated through three contrasting perspectives, depicting the events of one fateful night for three women. Following somewhat unreliable sources and communication brings forwards a fresh and exhilarating experience that leaves the viewer desperate for more. This is brought to the screen, maintaining the mix narration that is evident in the original novel.

Adapted from the top selling thriller by Paula Hawkins, the narrative is an interesting development. It follows a similar to vibe to the ever popular Gone Girl, which was adapted into cinema format back in 2014. They both do feature a missing woman, yet the similarities in storyline and plot draw to a close around there.

Led primarily by Emily Blunt, portraying the drunken mess that is our protagonist, voicing a large portion of the film. Her persona is superbly presented, balancing between a presentation of sympathetic loneliness and forthright determination. Rachel’s character goes through a constant battle against the others around her as well as herself, never write able to get a grip on her life. All of which come across as compelling characteristics, that the audience experiences through her somewhat slippery narration.

source: Universal Pictures

The female characters demonstrate contrasting personalities, overall creating a well rounded trio of narration throughout. The cast works splendidly to avoid any confusion between each of their roles – something that did occur when reading the book. Each presenting somewhat sombre tones to their lives, with their own issues. Both Megan and Anna are not as fully explored as Rachel yet this doesn’t restrict the plot development.

Focussing around one main night, in an attempt to create a thorough recollection of the proceedings to the audience and investigators of the disappearance. The element of concealed information brings together a gripping tale, keeping the audience hooked. The use of annotations and guides helps demonstrate the distinction between past and present, maintaining the same non-linear storytelling that is evident in the book. All of which presents further intrigue for audiences to question what is real, in an attempt to piece together the varying points of view.

The notion of the ‘unreliable narrator’ has always become something that hooks me effortlessly as long as it keeps me guessing throughout. Admittedly, the twist can be identified from a mile off, yet the combination of unclear flashbacks and fuzzy memories keep attention firmly on the developments that arise.

Despite having already become acquainted with the narrative and plot twists beforehand when reading the book, this film still manages to capture a satisfying level of curiosity. Held together tremendously by Blunt’s wobbly exterior, a seemingly perfect match for the fatiguing role. Despite her bad decision making and frequent shadowing of strangers, she also manages to show a likeable personality.

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