The Girl on the Train (2016)

Review by CJ


Tate Taylor

Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans

Other notable appearances:
Laura Prepon, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez, Lisa Kudrow

Running time:
112 minutes


Rachel is an alcoholic who commutes to and from Manhattan every day on the train. On her commute she passes the house in which she lived with her now ex-husband. He still lives there with his new wife and baby. To distract herself from looking in on her old life, she creates an idealised fantasy world for the couple she often sees a couple of doors down. When the wife in this couple goes missing, Rachel finds herself inserted into the investigation both by circumstances and then through her own continued bad choices. But will Rachel find the truth or will her alcohol addled brain only show her what she thinks she knows?

Based on The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

I didn’t enjoy The Girl on the Train as much as I thought I would after reading the novel upon which it is based. Even objectively, I found it to be a fairly weak thriller film. There are no real thrills and the mystery aspect of the story drags its feet until the very end. The editing is choppy and confusing. It has tried to emulate a style that may work in the novel but hasn’t been well translated to film.

The film adaptation of The Girl on the Train does make Rachel slightly more likeable, thanks in part to Emily Blunt’s portrayal. Unfortunately, most of the other main characters are written far too two-dimensionally for them to be as interesting as their book counterparts to make up for how fundamentally unlikeable they are.

Emily Blunt is outstanding in her role as Rachel. In a film where a majority of the actors seem to be phoning in their performances, Blunt is extraordinary. In her performance, Blunt convincingly portrays a complex character with a lot of history that hasn’t been shown on the screen.

The film score by Danny Elfman enhances certain aspects of the film and is dark and foreboding even on its own. The sparing use of deep bass within the soundtrack intwined with Elfman’s own unique style of music makes for a brilliant and unsettling score.

Overall, I don’t feel that The Girl on the Train excels as either an adaptation or as a standalone thriller.

2 Stars

“I’m not the girl I used to be.”

1 reply »

  1. Emily Blunt would be the only reason I would watch this one, as she just is a terrific actress. But I have seen mostly pretty negative reviews on this one, so I think I am going to pass for now 😀


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