The Girl on the Train – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

October 5, 2016 by Roz Tarszisz
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If you discount the mobile phones, this modern whodunit could have been made over 20 years ago. It not that it’s out of date, but it’s more about ramped up tension than special effects.

Rachel (Emily Blunt) is the girl. She used to live in one of the gracious homes that abut the train tracks on Long Island.  Now she is sad and shabby, staring out the window on her daily commute to the city.  She always checks out her old home, the one where her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux) still lives, together with new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) and their young baby.

Rachel also avidly watches the house where Megan (Haley Bennett) lives with Scott (Luke Evans) and imagines the perfect scenario of their lives, the one she tried to have and lost. She has not come to terms with being divorced and has been stalking Tom and Anna.

When she sees Megan with another man on her balcony she is enraged and disappointed in the other woman. As other voyeurs, we see Megan talking to her psychiatrist, Dr Kamal Abdic (Edgar Ramirez) and realise that she is not exactly the person she appears to be.

Megan’s disappearance sets off a series of events that lead Rachel to get involved in the police search for her. When Megan turns up dead in nearby woods, Detective Riley (Allison Janney) suspects Rachel, who spends her days in an alcoholic stupor and cannot account for all her time.

For those who have read the bestselling novel by Paula Hawkins on which the film is based, there may be no surprise– apart from the change of locale from England to America –but it is still a good yarn.

Blunt is excellent as the lost and miserable ex-wife trying to claw her way back to sobriety and all the performances are good with Ramirez having a strong presence as the psychiatrist. I would have liked to see more of Janney’s cynical cop.

Director Tate Taylor (The Help) uses aerial shots to emphasise the lovely setting and, together with a strong music score by Danny Elfman, has crafted a solid thriller.

They don’t make ‘em like this anymore, or not very often.

3.5/5 2016 Released October 6 Rated MA15+ 112mins

Starring Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux

Directed by Tate Taylor

Screenplay by Erin Cressida Wilson

Based on the novel by Paul Hawkins

Music score by Danny Elfman

 

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