The Girl on the Train is a rare type of movie in today’s Hollywood landscape–an adult oriented thriller that is not based on a comic book. It is not completely original–it is based on a best-selling novel by Paula Hawkins, but I’ll take what I can get. I am also in the camp who has read the book, so if you have not, I am sure the movie will be a completely different experience. That said, I thought it was a very well done adaptation of this wildly popular crime novel, which surprised me given that early reviews were mixed.
One of the central concepts of the movie is that the unreliable alcoholic narrator blacks out when she drinks. This would seem to be a difficult part of the novel to portray on film, but the director does a good job of putting the audience in Rachel’s shoes and showing what that is like. The director portrays this using a shaky camera with a focus that keeps shifting as she stumbles her way through each scene. Then the next day, her memories rush back in jumbled flashes.
I was also impressed by the cast. Emily Blunt carries the movie as the main character in another impressive performance–she proved she has range with Sicario, one of my favorite movies of last year, and she shows that again here.
I did not know Haley Bennett before this movie, but she was also good in a key role. And then some very good actors turned up in relatively small parts, which is always a bonus–Lisa Kudrow as a former acquaintance, and Edgar Ramirez as the therapist. Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, and Allison Janney were also part of this solid cast.
Overall I recommend it, whether you are curious to see how they adapt the novel or just looking for a solid crime thriller.