This is a mystery/thriller type film that frustrated me for about 80% of the film’s 2-hour length as I tried to piece together what definitely was a rather disjointed story.
I knew the film was based on a very successful book ‘The Girl on the Train’ written by Paula Hawkins and set in cold bleak England with a daily suburban train journey through a gloomy countryside on its way to the city.
I was surprised to find the film was set in autumn with the train passing through leafy countryside peppered with upmarket homes on one side of the train and the Hudson River on the other side as it travelled on its daily journey to New York City.
Should I have read the book first? I don’t know for sure but my guess is that I would have been disappointed with the film had I done so.
Although the film frustrates you for most of its length, it did come together by the end of the film and it found a way to hold my attention throughout.
The lead character is Rachel, a divorcee and an alcoholic who often lapses into a drunken stupor and suffers from blackouts is played by Emily Blunt who gives an amazing performance. Rachel is a wreck as a person and spends her days in an alcoholic haze and travels by train daily to New York to a job that does not exist. The train passes the house Rachel used to live when she was married to her ex-husband.
Emily Blunt gives an excellent portrayal as Rachel and has previously received five nominations for a Golden Globe Award. She also received a BAFTA award for the best supporting actress in ‘The Devil wears Prada’ and in 2009 the BATFA Britannia Award for the best British artist for her portrayal of Queen Victoria in ‘The Young Victoria’.
The film reminded me in some way of ‘Rear Window’ a film where that master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, was the director. Only problem here is the director of the ‘Girl on the Train,’ Tate Taylor is no Alfred Hitchcock and I found it difficult to follow what he was trying to do as the film jumped around in time and from one situation to another.
Would I recommend the film? Well, not if you have already read the book but if you haven’t read the book, and don’t mind spending a couple of hours trying to figure out what the film is all about then give it a go.
I would give the film three stars but only because of the acting by Emily Blunt.