Movie Review: The Girl on The Train

Emily Blunt can’t save The Girl on the Train whose superficial script results into a tedious and suspense-free thriller with exploitative melodrama.

Rachel, devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

Good thing Rachel didn’t live in the Philippines because that train ride would’e made her crazy in a week nor would she be able to see anything past the sardine packed compartment.

Still, life didn’t go well for The Girl on the Train and in a Hitchcock twist, she sees something that changes her miserable life.

As expected, Emily Blunt delivers. She’s able to inject depth for a one-dimensional role in Huntsman, so it’s no wonder that she has no problem in a dramatic role. Rachel is a sad sack, but you still feel sorry as Blunt makes her misery believable and relatable.

Unfortunately, her talents are not enough to save this tedious flat voyeuristic thriller of pretty people in peril.

The narrative switches and flashbacks keep the already thin plot in a tedious crawl. The script is not able to deliver a relatable perspective from any of its characters, so these revolving door of beautiful people adds nothing to the story. While the script keeps Rachel wallowing in misery, it throws Megan into voyeuristic titillating magazine worthy moments including fucking in the woods or running outside of a cabin screaming in the rain while naked.

It doesn’t help that these moments happen against the backdrop of an artificial world. The glossy cinematography and production design looks pretty, but it also makes everything superficial. None of the houses look lived-in and all the characters are always perfectly dressed, even Rachel who would have looked like shit in real life.

Even though she’s been obsessed with Megan as much as she is with Tom and Anna for two years, she knows nothing about the blonde. Worse, the movie is plagued with the common contrivance of inept detectives who couldn’t connect the obvious dots and solve the case. So when the revelation comes in it’s merely confirming a hunch you’ve already had as soon as you know where Megan worked.

There’s something subversive in a thriller where the heroine is an alcoholic while the potential suspects are rich suburbanites. Unfortunately, the makers behind this movie are preoccupied with posturing beautiful people instead of putting them to good use.

My Rating: 4/10

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