The Girl on the Train: A Movie Review
I was really looking forward to seeing this movie after reading the bestseller book of the same name by Paula Hawkins. The book was honestly one of the best I have ever read and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good thriller/suspense/mystery to enjoy. It had everything and more you could ever want in a book. I prefer to read the book before I see the movie, just so I have the whole story because the film version tends to skimp on the details and I'm left wanting more. The film version of "The Girl on the Train" did not disappoint in any way. In fact, I think it stayed as true to the book as possible. If any things were changed, I don't believe I noticed because they were just that small or unimportant and didn't take away from the story in any way, shape, or form.
The basic summary is that Rachel, played by Emily Blunt, takes the train to and from work everyday and likes to watch from the windows the people in the houses she passes by. She likes to make up stories in her mind about the kinds of lives these people live and even gives them made up names. I think she does this as a distraction from her own life. She has gone through a lot including a divorce from a husband who cheated on her, the inability to have her own child, and becoming an alcoholic. One of the houses that she passes by on the train is the one where she used to live with her now ex-husband. He happens to live there with his new wife and child now. The ex-husband, Tom, is played by Justin Theroux. Rachel also watches this house in particular because it reminds her of everything that was taken away from her. The other house that catches her eye is one that belongs to a young couple who seem to be hopelessly in love. Then one day Rachel notices that the man who is the husband is not there and the wife is kissing another man. This disturbs Rachel and makes her even more interested in what's really going on. Things only take a turn for the worse when this same woman, Megan, is reported missing.
Events start unraveling and Rachel inserts herself into the mystery that has become the murder of the young wife, Megan, played by Haley Bennett. Rachel even goes as far as to see the therapist that Megan used to see and pretend she needs therapy in order to find out more about the guy. Who really killed Megan? Was it the abusive husband who is always the first suspect? The therapist that she went to that knew all her deepest and darkest secrets? Or was it someone else entirely who just needed her out of the way? Everyone is a suspect because no one is who they say they are. Rachel befriends the husband of the missing Megan by claiming she is a friend of hers from the gallery she used to work at even though she has never met the woman at all. She uses this as an excuse to hang out at the house because it is next door to her ex-husband Tom's house. Rachel has a hard time letting go of that marriage and has many flashbacks of her life with Tom before the divorce. She even goes as far as to call him numerous times on his cell phone when she is drunk. Rachel also makes a habit of going to his house and harassing his new wife Anna and scaring their child. We are made to believe Rachel is dangerous, an alcoholic, and quite possibly crazy. But who's really the bad guy here?
In the last half hour of the movie, things really start to get crazy and we start finding out the truth of what's really been happening. The people we believe to be good and honest really are not. The victims are not really victims in the end. Without giving anything away, let's just say that justice is served in the end, for the most part. We do get the bad guy or girl, but some things just can't be undone. This film does a good job of showing just how untrue the things we believe about other people are based on their appearances. For example, a seemingly happy couple might be having troubles behind closed doors that you know nothing about. A good husband could be just the opposite. A bad wife could have her reasons for appearing to be so.
I think the main character Rachel, played by Emily Blunt, does a fantastic job in this role. This is the first time I have seen her portray a serious and intense character and she nails it completely. Emily Blunt caught my attention in the 2006 comedy "The Devil Wears Prada" and to an extent, I think I will always see her as the snotty assistant Emily who tortures Anne Hathaway's character Andrea. To me, she has always been seen as a comedic actresses because those are just the types of roles I have watched her in. After this film though, I can see that she can do both very well. She definitely has a lot of range as an actress and that says a lot about her skills. Someone who can go from comedy to drama and back again, making you believe every word, is definitely talented. Emily Blunt is someone to watch for in the movies.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this film. I've read reviews that said it moved at a slow pace, but I don't believe that to be true. I thought it moved rather steadily along, with the twists and turns coming one right after the other. Even having read the book beforehand, I still very much enjoyed the film because to read it is to have one experience, but to see it portrayed on the screen is another. The one change I did notice is that in the book, the events take place in England, while in the film it is New York. I don't think this changes or alters anything because the main plot stays the same no matter where you move it. Give this movie a chance even if you've never heard of it or read the book. It has one of those plots that has a lasting effect on the viewer and makes you really think about the lives of the people you see everyday.
Have you seen "The Girl on the Train"?
The Girl on the Train (Official Trailer)
The Girl on the Train (Movie)
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
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