Rachel (Emily Blunt) is a divorcee and an alcoholic who is prone to alcohol-induced blackouts and is distraught by her divorce with her now ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux). She travels to and from Manhattan everyday in a train for her job and on her way sees two women namely Anna (Rebecca Fergusson), Tom’s current wife and Megan (Haley Bennet), her ex-neighbour. Rachel kind of connects her present life and the life she wished with these two women she sees everyday. She despises Anna for having taken her position in her husband’s life (with whom Rachel had an abusive relationship due to her drinking habits) and envies Megan for having a seemingly perfect romantic life (which she admires however).
One day she sees Megan kissing a man who isn’t Megan’s husband and is infuriated at Megan’s perfidy. She feels like assaulting Megan for the same and gets down the train at the next station. She walks down to her house and blacks out near a tunnel in the locality. As she wakes up, she finds herself in her own house bloodied all over. She is even astonished to know that Megan has gone missing the same day!! Now with the police suspecting Rachel for what must have happened to Megan, the rest of the story unfolds exploring the same along with giving an insight to the lives of Megan, her husband (Luke Evans), her psychiatrist (Edgar Ramirez), Anna as well as Tom.
- The performances of the actors especially Emily Blunt. She is more than half the strength of the movie and carries it on her shoulders ably. The movie deserves credit for an excellent casting because even actors having the shortest of roles have executed their job immaculately.
- The suspense built up in the first half is slow but good.
- The non-linear fashion in which the movie runs is quite good and well executed. Along with a good cinematography, it can become a good case study for movie makers.
- The film’s dark tone and over attention to a drunk, distraught and confused character (Rachel) who has no other emotions to show can be extremely excruciating.
- The blown up second half which is not at all engaging, actually compromises the suspense built up initially. The film is not at all intriguing which it should have been, sadly.
- The story is central to the lives of 3 women whose lives get intertwined. The movie explores the characters of Rachel and Megan pretty well but misses to develop the character of Anna which could have been a strong point of the movie given they had an actress like Rebecca playing it.
Direction, Script & Other Technicalities:-
The film has it’s light and dark moments. The direction by Tate Taylor is above average. He along with cinematographer Charlotte Bruud Christensen ensure that the film is visually good. However as mentioned earlier, the film doesn’t do justice to every character. As a matter of fact, the characters of Rebecca and Luke could have got more space. The climax of the movie was a bit clumsy and could have been shot better involving the characters of Rachel and Anna equally.
The strongest part of the movie is its excellent cast and their performances.
Emily Blunt stuns you with a blinder and believe me she is the heart of the movie. She kind of gets into the character of Rachel with ease and executes her job perfectly. I wouldn’t be wrong if I state that she is the only reason why the movie stands on it’s legs.
Haley Bennet does a fine job with her role of a mentally disturbed girl. She makes her presence felt quite effectively and the script gives her ample time and space to do justice to her character.
Rebecca Fergusson is good in her short stint. It’s really sad that an actress of her calibre is wasted in the movie completely.
Justin Theroux has done an excellent job as Tom. It’s really good to see him don a character much different from what he usually does and he seems to have nailed it.
Luke Warm has also done a good work although I feel his character could have got more space to perform. He is excellent in the scene where his character vents out his anger on Rachel for lying him.
Edgar Ramirez has a small role but he does it really well. Lisa Kudrow, Laura Prepon and Allison Janney also make their presence felt in their brief stint.
The Girl On The Train makes a good one time watch for all those people who haven’t read the book yet. However, the fans of the book will leave the cinema halls with sheer disappointment. You can watch the movie for its mind boggling performances, especially that of Emily Blunt and its visual richness.