Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Movie Review: The Girl on the Train (2016)

The Girl on the Train movie poster
The Girl on the Train (2016) - Directed by Tate Taylor; Written by Erin Cressida Wilson; Starring Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Edgar Ramirez, Laura Prepon, Allison Janney, Lisa Kudrow.

By Kenny Howell

There might not be a movie of The Girl on the Train if people in the movie closed the blinds on their windows, are avoided going out on their back balcony when trains went by.

Everything hinges on the fact that the action of what is going on in two houses is visible to our heroine Rachel, played by Emily Blunt (Sicario). One of the houses has who she considers the ideal couple, young attractive, and seemingly very much in love. They live out their lives as close to the windows as possible, sometimes having sex in full view of the train, or just hanging out on that back balcony. The girl of the duo, Megan, even stands out there in her underwear as the passenger train that is just a few hundred yards away passes.

In the other house is Rachel's past life, her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux), who is now with another woman and has a child, something that Rachel couldn't have during their time together. They also live their lives really close to windows so Rachel can see them as she goes by on the train.

Because of this stress, Rachel is also an alcoholic. She hasn't handled the split from her ex-husband well, and she constantly creeps on the family, mostly when she is drunk. When she gets plastered one night, she gets off the train and plans to confront the woman that stole her husband. However, she blacks out, and doesn't know what happened the rest of the night. Unfortunately for her, the woman she so idolized from the other house, who also happened to be her ex-husband's child's nanny, has gone missing, and foul play is a possibility. Was it Rachel, her husband who tended to be jealous from time to time, or a number of other possible suspects?

When The Girl on the Train sticks to just the paperback mystery-ness of it all, it works fairly well. It's pulp essentially, and even though it isn't exceptional, it's at least a decent mystery. That is despite the fact that everything falls into place exceptionally well like what is mentioned in the first few paragraphs of this review. These people live out there live unlike pretty much anyone in the actual world because it is convenient to the story, which was adapted by Erin Cressida Wilson (Stoker) from the Paula Hawkins best selling novel.

It also takes a pretty good while to get there. We are barraged with scenes early on with characters giving way to much exposition, explaining everything that has happened and is happening in the scene. It feels a bit clunky, which I thought Gone Girl, the film this film really wants to be like, also had problems with. Like Gone Girl, when it just settles into the story, it gets much better. It just takes way to long to get there.

Rating: **1/2

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