A mini-film review today, which is my third in a week. I’m not a particularly good reviewer let’s face it but I do enjoy getting my thoughts down, keeping track of what I’ve been watching and ruining plots for the rest of you (kidding).
I also enjoyed this film, which seems to have been getting mixed reviews as far as I can see. I don’t really understand the negativity to be honest but that might be because I entered the theatre with low expectations and a sub-par cinema hotdog, and one of those things was much better than anticipated.
And to top it off, a (cute) guy kicked over my (small) popcorn before the film started and then kindly replaced it with the biggest box you can buy so it was a score all round.
To my thoughts!
*Will try not to *Spoiler* but just in case*
The Girl on the Train (2016)
IMDB Synopsis: A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.
Fans of the Paula Hawkins‘ novel on which this film is based should come out feeling satisfied that, at least, the story doesn’t veer too far from the original tracks (!).
Apart from a couple of little details and a relocation from grey old London to the surrounding suburbs of New York City, it’s bang on. I didn’t get this feeling from the trailer and was a little wary that they’d messed with the plot. They haven’t.
As mysteries go, The Girl on the Train is okay. Not the best ever but it’s up there. I think it contains themes that could resonate with a lot of people. It centers around a woman called Rachel, who has lost her husband, her job and her home and is now not holding it together terribly well. As the tale unravels we learn exactly what derailed our titular character and it would be difficult not to sympathise.
Rachel’s ex husband is now living with his new partner and their new baby in Rachel’s old home. The couple live a few doors down from Megan and her husband Scott. Rachel doesn’t know Megan or Scott but she is obsessed with them, forming an attachment to the perfect couple she sees from the window of the train as she passes on the way to work every morning and evening.
Megan in particular represents everything Rachel used to be and has the perfect life she should of had. Her focus when she passes by is on Megan and Scott, and determinedly not on her old house.
Of course we all people watch and make up our own minds about people, perfect or not, and we can never know really what’s going on behind closed doors. As it goes, there’s a lot Rachel doesn’t know but is about to find out. Thankfully, we’re along for the ride too.
I won’t delve too deep only to say that enigmatic Megan goes missing and Rachel may or may not hold the key to what happened to her, if only she hadn’t been so drunk on the night of her disappearance and could remember. (Been there). Something she saw a few days earlier might also help the investigation, but who’s going to believe a sad drunk?
Emily Blunt is incredible in this role, carrying the film from good to great and I lived for her scenes. Technically we have three female protagonists; Anna, Megan and Rachel and they’re all good but Blunt stands head and shoulders above the others.
These characters, despite appearances to the contrary, share significant similarities, another comment on the veneer of the perfect life and how not everything is always as it seems. I feel like this film is deeply female, subtly twisting perception and sympathy towards a group of women who have been let down and manipulated for too long.
I got very angry and shaken as the tale unfolded even as I knew how it ended. It’s violent and angry without being unnecessarily graphic and it made me feel queasy at times. Blunt choked me up a good few times ~ there’s a scene where she’s drunkenly ranting in a public bathroom that got me like 💔 and made me personally reflect on my own past experiences.
I really liked it.
I don’t know if I preferred the film to the book. Perhaps. I think Blunt played Rachel well but I can’t say she was how I pictured her. I don’t think I had a template for any of the characters in my head. Rachel is supposed to be a steaming hot mess because of her drinking and Blunt certainly does drunk well but she’s still gorgeous, flushed face, chapped lips and all. But I guess it’s more about how this character sees herself. In which case, she couldn’t have been better. It contrasts so well with Anna’s Stepford blonde and pastel aesthetic.
Leaving it here now but yes, colour me impressed. And a little more over men than usual.