Next Stop: The Girl on the Train

Monday, November 7, 2016 (Issue #2)
by Victoria Arbour, Staff Writer

.   .   .

R, 1hr. 52 min. (Suspense/ Mystery)

~

Buy your movie ticket for The Girl on the Train; you’re in for a ride. Written by Erin Cressida Wilson and based on the novel by Paula Hawkins, the film is a welcome addition to the upand-coming, book-based, suspense/ psychological thriller/mystery genre that blurs the lines between female protagonist and antagonist, often compared to films like Gone Girl and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

I work at a small independent theater and love to hear reviews from moviegoers. “Just put ‘girl’ in the title” one customer told me after seeing the movie. The reactions have been mixed; the film has faced the heat from movie to movie juxtapositions as well as book to movie comparisons.

“Just put ‘girl’ in the
title.”
—Moviegoer

Despite these comparisons, The Girl on the Train brings its own fresh take to the big screen. Rachel Watson played by Emily Blunt is not your typical female protagonist. Barely likable, she is an alcoholic and fits into many other negative, stigmatized roles as the story unfolds. A divorcee, mentally unstable, stalker, child abductor, liar, even murderer, are just a few. Perhaps unreliable narrator is the best way to describe her as she stumbles through the movie from her point of view.

Watson is captivated by the lifestyle of a young woman named Megan (Haley Bennett) and her partner Tom (Justin Theroux) who she observes from the train every day. The couple lives just doors down, from her ex-husband Scott (Luke Evans), Scott’s new wife and former mistress Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), and their toddler Evie. Soon, Watson witnesses an event that sets her life on a runaway train that collides with haunting images and heavy, emotional topics.

“A captivating suspense film with twists and turns that have you sitting on the edge of your seat.”

The Girl on the Train is a gripping, but sometimes-muddled story, that at points has viewers feeling just as addled as its drunken protagonist. Told through flashbacks, the story somewhat haphazardly reveals its intense murder mystery. Two blonde beauties (Bennett and Ferguson) who bear striking resemblance to each other do nothing to aid the viewer in their confusion. And to top it all off, their male counterparts are quite villainous, with little explanation as to why.

The shortcomings, however, don’t stop The Girl on the Train from arriving at its destination: a captivating suspense film with twists and turns that have you sitting on the edge of your seat.

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