Have you ever looked at someone from across the street? Ever wondered who they were? Ever think it could get you in trouble? This is what happens in “The Girl on the Train.” Based on the novel by Paula Hawkins and directed by Tate Taylor, the film follows the mystery of the disappearance of a girl, and a stranger who takes it upon herself to solve the mystery.
“The Girl on the Train” is a fascinating mystery that keeps the audience’s attention. It’s not a groundbreaking addition to the thriller genre, but it is an exciting one.
The movie follows Rachel Watson, (Emily Blunt) an alcoholic dealing with the aftermath of a divorce. Everyday Rachel takes a train to New York City, looks out the window and imagines the lives of the people she sees.
One couple catches her attention in particular and Rachel likes to imagines what a perfect couple they must be. But the couple, Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett) and Scott Hipwell (Luke Evans), are far from perfect with Megan going to therapy to deal with her unfulfilling life. One day, Rachel sees Megan with another man. Later she finds that not only did Megan go missing but she was the nanny for Rachel’s ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux), and his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson). Rachel was blackout drunk the night of Megan's disappearance and doesn’t remember where she was. She takes it upon herself to investigate the disappearance, but finds herself in a case where nothing is what it seems and even her own memory is not trustworthy.
“The Girl on the Train” likes to play around with point of view and chronological order. Throughout the movie, Rachel tries to remember what happened the night Megan went missing. The movie not only shows flashes to that night, but also Rachel’s life while she was married to Tom. This gives the audience greater understanding into her life. The film also flashes back to Megan’s life in the months leading up to her disappearance. This draws the viewer in by slowly giving them pieces of the puzzle, which generates more interest in the mystery.
The acting is well done. For the most part it’s nothing too special, but nothing terrible. Everyone does their part well. Luke Evans does a fine macho jerk. Haley Bennett is good as the woman bored with suburbia. The only real standout is Emily Blunt. Blunt is amazing as the drunk Rachel. Her performance is surprisingly nuance, with little details such as the quick looks at people around her and the stumbling, that give the character life. Blunt captures the misery and desperation of her character. Emily Blunt’s performance is a tour de force.
“The Girl on the Train” is about learning not to trust your impressions of people. Whether they be strangers, family, or even yourself. You do not know someone as well as you think you know them.