I realize this blog title doesn’t indicate a glaringly positive review, but you shouldn’t be put off by other really misleadingly dumb reviews. For all of those film reviewers out there comparing this film to Gone Girl, I suggest you find another career. Just because this is a mystery thriller, doesn’t mean you just lump it in with the prior film. That’s ridiculous. This film did not have the same twist in common, as a matter of fact, I can’t say I found those things in common between both films that those reviewers said they saw. I suggest they are part of the squad of film reviewers I see at the premieres that leave 45 minutes into a film and then give their reviews on television and in the papers.
Let me tell you what I saw. I saw some really good performances in this film. Emily Blunt continues to amaze me. The emotional rollercoaster she was asked to step through in this film was incredible. She plays a character you might find you don’t particularly care for, an alcoholic ex-wife, which is hard to do because, well, she’s Emily Blunt. The story is complex, with timeline shifts and the number of suspects, and her character isn’t helping anyone. Including the film-goer.
Other solid performances, though more suttle, were those of Hayley Bennett’s Megan and Allison Janney’s Detective Riley. Both were played with almost alarming, calm control. Hayley Bennett, as you might remember from my previous movie review of The Magnificent Seven, is on the scene, this time as a girl that goes missing. Allison plays the Detective who’s trying to put the pieces together without playing the over-the-top Hollywood detective cliche. Rebecca Ferguson was almost unrecognizable as the overwhelmed and tortured soul Anna.
@GirlonTrainFilm is a complex thriller that confused me at first with timelines jumping and narration over the top of these timelines. Because of this, I was not fond of the direction of this film. Director Tate Taylor could learn a thing or two from M. Night Shyamalan’s string of failures. Stop holding your audience’s hand. If they can’t understand your film, they’re probably not the audience you want spreading word of mouth about your film anyhow. I did see many ways it could have been done better, HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. In fact, when the timelines and narration subsided, the film began to unfold for itself, allowing me to unwrap the mystery myself. The individual character’s storylines pulled me in and created that intensity that makes you want to know the answers to the questions who did it and why?
In addition to the talented cast, the film has a lot to say. It touches on many issues in society today. Some of the scars revealed with these characters are shockingly sad and some were extremely upsetting.
Tragedy after tragedy unfolds in the characters lives. I felt the shame, the guilt, and the emotional luggage being packed and wondered how it was all going to unravel.
The Girl on the Train doesn’t have all the answers, but she’s definitely looking for them from the passenger car window. See it for yourself through her eyes.
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