This week from director Tate Taylor and Universal Pictures is the novel by Paul Hawkins brought to the screen about “The Girl on the Train.”
Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) rides the train into New York every morning. Sitting in the same place she is able to observe a young woman and her husband in their beautiful home. Creating a happy life story in her mind, Rachel remembers a time when her life was equally happy.
Her dream world is interrupted when another family quickly comes into view is of her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux) and his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) who live two houses down. All of this has sunk Rachel into a bottle of alcohol and dangerous behavior.
On a trip on the train Rachel sees the young women being affectionate with another man and it sends her spiraling. Getting off the train very drunk she wanders to the street where the woman lives to confront the betrayal. In a flash she blacks out and wakes up in her bed covered in blood.
The news that morning is of the young woman Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett) who has been reported missing by husband Scott (Luke Evans). When Detective Riley (Allison Janney) shows up at the apartment, Rachel has no answers for any of the questions. Detective Riley confronts Rachel letting her know that the alcohol problem is known and to stay away from ex-husband Tom.
Rachel remembers what she saw from the train and goes to Scott discovering that the man was Dr. Kamal Abdic (Edgar Ramirez), Megan’s psychiatrist. Tom and Anna see Rachel leaving Scott’s house and are afraid of what she is doing. All of this sets her on a path that twists and turns when it is her memory that needs to tell her what happened the night she got off the train.
Not everything you see is what it seems!
Blunt as Rachel is absolutely amazing in this role. First of all she looks stunning without make up and any woman seeing this film will not have a problem confessing too. Okay, we got that out of the way — I loved Blunt’s portrayal of this woman who is just a hot mess from the start. Taking everything in its turn, the story unfolds and understanding Rachel’s motivates all comes into focus and then tailspins back again. I have to admit I loved this.
Bennet as Megan is a woman who has issues that are as equally intense. Her story is not one that Rachel would never have expected but would definitely understand. I enjoyed Bennet’s performance very much. Evans as husband Scott believes Rachel can help but their marriage is not exactly as it looked from the train window! Evans gives his character a scary look that would keep me ON the train and away from his house.
Ferguson as Anna is afraid of Rachel and also knows Megan. This womanly triangle becomes intense and Ferguson plays right into it. Ramirez as Dr. Kamal skates along the edge of professionalism that’s for sure!
Theroux as Tom is nothing short of a brilliant performance. Of course I may be a little bias since I am a huge “The Leftovers” watcher, just saying. Theroux runs hot and cold between Rachel and Anna but such is the price you pay dealing with an ex who can’t get it together and a new wife that’s feeling overwhelmed.
Other cast include: Darren Goldstein as the man in the suit, Mac Tavares as Det. Gaskill, John Norris as Jason, Gregory Morley as Officer Pete, Lisa Kudrow as Martha and Laura Prepon as Cathy.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “The Girl on the Train” four tubs of popcorn out of five. I absolutely love a film that has plots and subplots twisted around other plots that throw things off kilter. Let me tell you that the audience was having a fantastic time with the film as well.
I enjoyed the casting of the film because it worked so well in the story that is being told. Once again it’s hard to talk about the film in a way that doesn’t give out clues for those who haven’t read the book. In fact, now I want to read the book to see what I could be missing. Nothing better than having that reverse screen-to-book effect.
Although surrounded by characters, it is Blunt’s performance as Rachel that stays with me. There are parts that I figured out relatively quickly but I didn’t mind because I wanted to take it at Rachel’s pace. Torn apart and broken, this character claws her way up and I’m willing to wait for her at the top! The cinematography is also another winner here with its dark and gritty feeling which absolutely works with this film.
There is no hesitation for me in saying that I believe the film will capture the attention of filmgoers but also the attention of awards season. Theroux and Blunt need to polish up their shoes and sparkle up outfits to walk red carpets around that time. “The Girl on the Train” is on my list of must-see for this year.
In the end — what you see can hurt you!