It seems that nowadays one can’t go to the cinema without seeing a “modern re envisioning of a classic tale” or a film adaptation of one of the world’s best-selling novels, and if we’re honest, the majority of the time these cinematic behemoths tend to fall flat. The exception to this rule is The Girl On The Train.
The plot of Paula Hawkins novel adaptation The Girl On The Train appears at first to be a simple one. It follows the lives of three women; Rachel, a struggling divorcee with an overly active imagination who dulls the pain of her life with alcohol; Anna the woman Rachel’s husband, Tom, left her for, and wild child Megan, and her struggle to survive suburban life. Everything changes when Megan goes missing. Megan is gone, but was Rachel the last person to see her alive? The film becomes a tangled tale of a “who done it” nature as Rachel tries to piece the fragmented memories of her drink addled encounter with Megan together and find out what actually happened to her. If there’s one thing this movie is not, it‘s predictable.
The adaptation from page to screen is a massive challenge for any project. While the film did include all of the major plot points from the book, some back story was left out for one of the main characters, meaning for me, the twist at the end of the film felt a little bit forced. Other than that small blip, all lovers of Hawkins original novel will be very pleased with how true to story the film is. For those who haven’t read the book, this movie will without a doubt knock you for six and may even be more enjoyable as you will be experiencing the story for the first time.
One of the major positives of this movie is most definitely the star studded cast that takes the screen. Emily Blunt is absolutely astonishing in this film, making the somewhat pathetic, alcoholic that the character of Rachel is both deserving sympathy and in a strange way, admiration. Hayley Bennett’s Megan captivates the audience, spurring the plot forward, and Rebecca Ferguson as the mistress turned house wife Anna is utterly convincing. The male components are played by Justin Theroux and Luke Evans, and like their female counterparts, their performance is admirable, but it’s really the women in this film that take centre stage.
Despite the film being quite long (pushing close to two hours) the time jump sequences and the slow trickle of Rachel’s memories returning to her, before the conclusion’s big reveal will leave you far from bored at any point.
The Girl On The Train, while perhaps being slightly unflattering to its female characters, delves into the seemingly ordinary life of ordinary people and from it, emerges a non-stop thrill ride, fitted with subtle twists and turns that set the audience up for a massive fall. If leaving a movie slightly psychologically damaged and with the pathological need to examine everyone in your life for murderous tendencies, this film is a perfect fit for you. An all-around fantastic and extremely entertaining film.
The Girl On The Train is in cinemas from 5th October 2016.