Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Girl On The Train

Starring: Emily Blunt, Justin Theroux, Allison Janney, Haley Bennett
Director: Tate Taylor
Running Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes 
Rating: R

There are only a few books out there that have given me the heebie-jeebies. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins was one of them. I couldn't read it before bed, which was a problem, because I couldn't put it down. I absolutely loved this book - all the drama, twists and turns kept me guessing until the last few chapters. I was skeptical when I heard they were making this into a movie, and as per usual, I thought the book was better. But maybe I didn't enjoy the build-up to the climax of the movie because I already knew what was going to happen. Regardless, I thought it was a pretty good, not great, interpretation, but if you haven't read the book, you're sure to enjoy the film. If you saw or read "Gone Girl", this story is in the same vein.

The book is divided into parts with 3 narrators: Rachel, Anna and Megan. All of these women are flawed, if not slightly maniacal. The timeline in the book is easy to follow, but I felt like it was a little difficult to keep up with in the movie. While Rachel (read: Emily Blunt) gets the majority of the screen time, the book gives us more time to get to know Anna and Megan. Their stories overlap significantly, seemingly incestual, and the flashbacks keep you guessing "who did what and who and when?" A friend I saw this with muttered out loud a few times "I'm so confused."

Blunt plays a pretty convincing alcoholic (Rachel) who rides a train everyday into Manhattan. Rachel has developed a somewhat ridiculous obsession with a woman (Megan) she sees from the train, who lives in the house next to Rachel's former house she shared with her ex-husband, Tom. He still lives there, with the woman he had an affair with, Anna, and their new baby. Megan is Tom and Anna's former nanny. Still with me? I told you it's a bit incestual.

Rachel drunk dials Tom and Anna and shows up at their house frequently, but doesn't remember doing this half the time, because she is totally wasted. We feel sorry for Rachel and her sad life, but it's easy to empathize with Tom after we see flashbacks of Rachel's violent behavior and drunken stupors.

One evening, after too many martinis and a nalgene bottle full of vodka, Rachel embarks on a blurry journey into Tom and Anna's neighborhood, and comes in contact with who is seemingly Megan, but we really can't tell as we're seeing this through Rachel's fuzzy and distorted point of view. It's actually unclear whether or not this occurrence took place, or if Rachel is imagining things in her blackout state. The next day, Megan is reported missing, and both the audience and Rachel begin questioning everything that happened that night.

The lead up to the climax is a bit too long, and the climax itself is a touch too short. Justin Theroux doesn't get enough screen time as Tom, same with Allison Janney as the detective. It would also have been nice to have a plethora of suspects, like the book presents. It's worth a watch, though, especially if you're into bone-chilling movies during the Halloween season!

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