Tate Taylor directs The Girl On The Train, a cerebral drama following the troubled, recovering alcoholic Rachel who becomes involved in a missing persons case as she tries to put together the pieces as best as she can, the film stars Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney.
Girl on The Train is a bit of an odd story, a mystery thriller that works or doesn’t work depending on your investment and how engaged you are as the viewer, which does put a lot of weight on immersion alone, kicking off with a pretty non-linear set up, as if we’re looking back on Rachels’ day to day experiences as she recovers form alcoholism, she’s divorced from her husband Tom after marital problems and she’s trying to get her life back together. Noticing a couple from a train that she took into New York several days in a week and that the lady in that couple seemed to disappear, she and you as the viewer wonder what’s real, what’s the truth in relation to the events you watch. However the main problem with the story for me was that it just wasn’t that engaging or interesting – which makes the film fall apart and if you don’t pay close attention you will easily find yourself lost and drifting off, I struggled to really emotionally invest in the characters, even in Rachel played by the consistently great Emily blunt.
The story is deliberately a bit confusing and plays out in a way to confuse you , with Rachel being an unreliable narrator as the main character as we find out everything she recalls may not be as it seems but the non-linear nature of the plot doesn’t help at all and just makes the story more confusing, things happen out of order and time and as things aren’t really put together in any cohesive way, it made it hard for me to really invest myself in what was happening with frequent time jumps between the past and present. That being said, some of the performances are okay, Emily Blunt is great in pretty much everything and this role is no exception, she makes for a great sympathetic character and someone that you want to recover and generally believe, while Tom (Justin Theroux) makes for an initially interesting character but ultimately none of the characters aside from Rachel and Anna are particularly interesting or fleshed out and bar Rachel are as shallow as the story itself ultimately is which is a shame.
It’s a shame because the potential for a pretty good mystery thriller was evident but the execution was poor, with disengaging storytelling, dull characters and an even duller story, there just isn’t that much to The Girl on The Train, despite a strong performance from Blunt and an intriguing premise, I struggle to even call this a thriller with barely an ounce of excitement in the story and this is easily one of the most boring films of the year.
. Poor storytelling, struggles to really engage the viewer
. Confusing non-linear story doesn’t help in following events
. One dimensional, dull characters