“The Girl on the Train” Review

5 October, 2016

Director: Tate Taylor
Screenwriter: Erin Cressida Wilson
Director of Photography: Charlotte Bruus Christensen
Cast: Emily Blunt, Justin Theroux

Synopsis: An emotionally unstable commuter finds her world turned upside down after she witnesses the events leading up to a murder. Despite her memory of the incident slowly becoming more and more jumbled, she turns amateur detective in a case that has direct ties with her past and present.

Girl on the Train Review:

Heavily implied to be this year’s “Gone Girl”, “The Girl on the Train” is never more than an inch away from being a gripping alternative to Gillian Flynn’s outstanding psychological thriller. Unfortunately, Tate Taylor’s insistence on clinging to a number of seemingly irrelevant plot points and pieces of scattered storytelling muddies the running time a little and the resulting film is a fumbled one at best. Where David Fincher adapts “Gone Girl” so as to ensure that it can only improve upon rewatches, Taylor creates a movie that can only get worse as he drops the ball and allows far too many ridiculous plot points to remain in the story.

That being said, when “The Girl on the Train” is good it’s really good and the consistent level of mystery allows it to feel somewhat superior to an everyday melodrama, as does the notable cast. Emily Blunt is everything in this movie and she gives the performance of her career as an inebriate suffering from severe blackouts. She plays the role with a naturalism that extends beyond the range expected from even the most experienced of performers and her burden is almost painful to watch as her character’s self-destructive tendencies reveal a shocking story of mistreatment and suffering.

In a cynical film about the dregs of the middle class, “The Girl on the Train” depicts a dampened and downbeat take on marriage and social relations; justifying its fervent pessimism solely through the horrible elements that connect its three female characters. Unlike “Gone Girl”, there is no moral grey area in this story. It’s a cruel take on cruelty itself as emotional abuse and alcoholism point towards a shocking and downright evil conclusion. Afterwards you’ll need to take a long shower to rid yourself of the filth at the heart of this repugnant story.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
The Girl on the Train
Rating
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