The Girl on the Train (2016)4:21 AM
What did she see?
The Girl on the Train is directed by Tate Taylor (The Help, Get On Up) and stars Emily Blunt (Sicario, Edge of Tomorrow), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Hercules), Haley Bennett (Hardcore Henry, The Magnificent Seven), Justin Theroux (American Psycho, Megamind) and Luke Evans (Dracula Untold, Fast & Furious 6). "A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life". Based on the book that truly shocked the world - can this live up to the hype or is it just simply a Gone Girl knock off?
For once, I can actually say I am familiar with a film's source material - I have read The Girl on The Train and I really did enjoy the book, it was a real page turner. I had really high hopes for this film as I read and watched Gone Girl and loved both versions and I have to say, I feel the same way about The Girl on the Train - the film has its flaws but as a whole, it is very good and generally very faithful to the source material. The performances are spectacular, especially Emily Blunt who deserves at least an Oscar nomination for this performance. Finally a film in 2016 that doesn't disappoint (it could've been even better though).
As I've already briefly mentioned, The Girl on the Train is worth seeing simply for the performances as they are all of an extremely good standard. Emily Blunt plays Rachel fantastically - I have never seen someone play a drunk person so well but Blunt does it and makes it look easy. I am a big fan of Blunt so I probably would of found something to like in her performance no matter what but there were moments where I found myself departing Blunt from the character and actually disliking the character - this shows how great the performance is as Blunt is lost in the role...terrific! I can't praise Blunt enough, she is perfection! The good acting doesn't stop with Blunt though - Rebecca Ferguson and Haley Bennett both also prove how talented they are as they both do excellent jobs. I was especially surprised with Bennett who hasn't really been on my radar until September 2016 but she was good in The Magnificent Seven and excellent in this. So the females all pull their weight...do the men? I would say so. Even though the male actors have much less to do they are still good - Theroux and Evans both do a nice job. Some may say a flaw with this film is it has a very feminist approach - there aren't many interesting or good male characters but there are plenty of interesting female characters - I don't see this as much of a problem but it would be nice to see a film portray the real world accurately and fairly.
I am already a fan of this story and plot as I read and enjoyed the book and I think the film does a great job at bringing the book to life. I think the set up for this plot is actually pretty interesting as it's something we all do - fantasise and think about the strangers around us. The biggest difference is the film is set in America and the book is set in the UK but that doesn't take away anything. The only thing's missing that I think should have been included to create a better flow are the scenes of Tom visiting Rachel and the ending sequence was much longer in the book but was shortened and therefore less effective in the film. There were some moments where I thought the script was a little poor - but this could be down to the editing as some sentences, especially towards the beginning, felt a little disjointed. However, what I really liked about the script is that it was constantly moving - there isn't a moment you can turn away from this film as you are likely to miss a revelation or an important turn in the story. It would be interesting to see how the film turned out if Hawkins had adapted the book to a script but I am still happy with what we were given. I was actually really worried that I was going to hate this film because I had read and enjoyed the book (similarly to The Scorch Trials) but I am pleased that that wasn't the case.
The Girl on the Train was edited in a pretty unique way - there were many moments of slow motion and also many jumps between present day and the past. These flashbacks were another element of how the film was loyal to the book - it was literally like the book was brought to life as it had the exact same style. I also liked how the film decided to still keep telling the same story from the three different perspectives. From the trailers, I noticed some of the slow motion and thought it seemed a little amateur but in the actual film it works and you can see it has been used to portray that Rachel is intoxicated and struggles to remember. I also really liked the metaphor the film presents at the end of the film with a statue in New York - it was very fitting.
So the book 'shocked' the world - will the film? I actually think it will. I saw this film with a friend who hadn't read the book and they were shocked every step of the way. I think the twist is executed really well and definitely comes across as unexpected. However, I do think if some extra scenes were added beforehand, it would have made slightly more sense (like it did in the book). SPOILERS - One of my favourite moments was how earlier in the film we see how Rachel's marriage was difficult because of her being an alcoholic but we find out earlier that everything she was told is a lie and it was actually the other way around. Another element that makes The Girl on the Train so shocking is how gruesome it is - the deaths are pretty graphic and hard to watch. I also thought the scene that involved the death of Megan's baby was very powerful and very emotional and shocking. So yes, The Girl on the Train is definitely effective and a film that will shock you.
The Girl on the Train is a satisfying adaptation of the successful Paula Hawkins book. Emily Blunt is awards worthy and showcases how talented she is in this role. All of the performances are also very strong - this is a film you need to see just for the performances. There are many shocking moments including an exciting twist that is hard to see coming. The script is crafted in a way that you can't stop watching. The Girl on the Train is faithful and loyal to the source material and is just a very very good film.
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