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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Monday, May 22, 2017

Movie Review - The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train (2016)
Starring Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Edgar Ramirez, Laura Prepon, Allison Janney, and Lisa Kudrow
Directed by Tate Taylor

When I first saw the trailer for The Girl on the Train, I felt a tinge of excitement.  Was this going to be another successful modern-day Hitchcockian thriller along the lines of the glorious Gone Girl?  I then proceeded to read the immensely successful book and realized that The Girl on the Train was unlikely to be a cinematic treat because the debut novel by Paula Hawkins was a bit of a bust.  Sure enough, the movie ends up being a bust as well, despite a solid performance from Emily Blunt as the titular character.

Blunt is Rachel Watson, an alcoholic divorcée who spends her days riding a train from the suburbs to New York City and back again.  The train passes by her old house which her husband Tom (Justin Theroux) now shares with his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) and their baby.  Naturally, the train also passes by the house of Tom's neighbors, the Hipwells.  Scott and Megan (Luke Evans, Haley Bennett) seem like a happy, young couple, but one morning Rachel spots Megan on the porch in the embrace of another man.  Shortly thereafter, Rachel hears on the news that Megan has gone missing and, in her drunken haze, Rachel sets out to investigate.  Unfortunately for Rachel, she herself has no recollection of what she was doing the night Megan was last seen...and the police headed by Detective Riley (Allison Janney) seem to think Rachel may have something to do with Megan's disappearance.

The book was largely an internal piece with the story told through the inner monologues of both Rachel and Megan.  The film tries to tackle this with voiceovers, but voiceovers are always a tricky proposition in movies and having to base a large majority of your plot around them is a bit tiresome.  Emily Blunt is successful in creating the depressed Rachel and nicely embodies the character I envisioned whilst reading the book.  Unfortunately, the screenplay isn't any better than Paula Hawkins' novel with the culprit behind Megan's disappearance surprisingly obvious about halfway through in both iterations.  In the end, what good is a mystery if you can solve it at the midpoint?

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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