Review: The Girl on the Train

VERDICT: B

The Girl on the Train did a lot of things. It kept be audibly gasping throughout, it was a great vehicle for Emily Blunt to be amazing in, and by the end I was feeling some strong girlpower vibes, which is always nice. Overall I’d give it a B, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, quick plot recap: [SPOILERS] Rachel (Emily Blunt) and Tom (Justin Theroux) were married. Tom banged Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) a bunch. Anna and Tom got married and had a baby. Rachel is piss-faced loaded 24/7 because she can’t have a baby. Tom starts giving that adulterous dick to Megan (), who, by the way is also their nanny. She gets pregnant, he kills her, and then Rachel and Anna kill Tom. Well, Rachel attacks Tom in self defence, but then Anna kills the guy (which like, good, he objectively deserves it, but it might ruin your self-defence case).

One thing off the top, I find it super patronizing when grown women are called “girl.”

Emily Blunt rocked my socks as expected. I always like when a film doesn’t try to make raging alcoholics look unrealistically put together, and Blunt is looking rough. Moving away from her appearance and on to her actual performance, Blunt excelled at balancing the the roles of unreliable narrator and the cinematography matched her — Anna and Megan, looking physically similar, are used to create ambiguity and altered frame rates creates a feeling of disjointed drunkenness, that at times made me feel the kind of woozy that Rachel must feel every morning when she wakes up *rimshot*.

A nice thing about Train is that it’s an almost entirely female cast, save for Theroux, Luke Evans (as Megan’s shitty husband), and Édgar Ramírez (the babe-tastic psychologist). Way to pass the Bechdel test! Aside from the main cast, there’s a sprinkling of actors I love — namely Lisa Kudrow and Laura Prepon (whose eyebrows are arched to the skies). It’s a scathing attack on modern American masculinity and I love it because every dude in this movie is a total dumpster fire of a human being.

This is a thriller. When judging films based on emotional response alone, I think I’m pretty generous —  did I stay on the edge of my seat? I did, so ultimately it was effective. “Effective” is not the same thing as “good.”

I think part of this is the investment the directors made in the audience and Rachel’s relationship. Apparently the book follows the three women from each of their points of view, but the film feels more like The Rachel Show with vignettes of the secondary characters — Megan exists in the past, which makes sense as a dead person, but ends up feeling detached, while Anna is so bland it’s hard to give the slightest shit about her or her feelings. Especially her baby. I don’t emphasise with someone just because they shot out a kid. At the climactic final attack, her involvement is satisfying for the little character that developed around her but feels out of place, like “Okay, that’s cool, yeah, totally stomp all over Emily Blunt being badass. That’s cool I guess.” Hence the B.

The Girl on the Train is now playing at Park Lane Theatre and Bayers Lake Cineplex.

STRAY THOUGHTS

  • Being totally real for a minute, I would totally watch a movie about Emily Blunt being a ridiculous drunk. Her unease and clear difficulty moving was uncomfortable to the point that I had to giggle a little at her multiple scenes stumbling around upstate New York.
  • More morbidly, there’s this really gorgeous bloodstain that eventually happens. You’ll know it when you see it because if you’re anything like me you’ll immediately wonder if blood is a viable fabric dye and then get really stressed out about what a pain it must have been for wardrobe to clean.
  • I had to giggle a little when Megan shouts that Tom is, among other insults, “impotent” when his thing kinda seems to be getting his mistresses pregnant. Seriously, with all the ladies he was apparently just CONSTANTLY giving it to, I’m surprised this didn’t happen before.
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