“The Girl on the Train” Movie Review: You Think You Know But You’ve No Idea

What do you do when you realize you can’t trust yourself?

What will you do to make others believe that you’re telling the truth only to realize that your truth may be far from reality?

Director Tate Taylor’s “The Girl on the Train” which was based on Paula Hawkin’s popular fiction novel gives a new meaning to the phrase “you think you know but you have no idea” because it takes us on a journey, by following bread crumbs, to the truth buried deep inside a conflicted character.

The movie gives us a heroine that you’re not sure you can root for because she’s not even so sure of herself.

Your truth can be completely far from reality

The Girl on the train movie review

Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) is trying to make sense of her life after a painful divorce from husband Tom (Justin Theroux) and she does it partly by riding the commuter train to Manhattan every day to go to work. As the train passes by the old neighborhood she used to live in, she starts to develop a curiosity for the girl who lives several houses away: Megan (Hayley Bennett).

For the next few months, as she sips liquor and doodles on her notebook inside the train, Rachel somehow gets to know Megan and her daily routine. She took pleasure in her voyeurism, mainly because she projected herself in Megan. The young woman is everything Rachel wanted to be in her married life. But something happened one fateful day that changed everything for the depressed, confused woman.

Thinking that what she saw was an indication of infidelity, Rachel’s fascination with the young woman turned to rage and an urge to do something to correct it. So one afternoon, while inebriated, she decided to get off the train to pay Megan a visit.

The next thing she knew, she was in her bedroom, with blood-soaked hands and a huge gash in her head. With no recollection of the previous day’s events, scared and confused, she went on her day, trying to remember what happened.

Then Megan went missing and Detective Riley (Allison Janney) suspected she had something to do with it.

With her drinking problem and depressed state, Rachel can’t quite be sure if she really had something to do with the disappearance and possible murder. Over the next few days, as she racked her mind for valuable information, bits and pieces came back but they’re not significant enough to really make a difference.

The Girl on the train movie review

When she suddenly remembered an incident that triggered her anger, she decided to do the right thing and told Megan’s husband, Scott (Luke Evans) about his wife’s affair. This set off in motion a series of events that quickly turned dirty, even deadly.

But even as she thought she did the right thing, Rachel still can’t trust herself or what she believed was true. Her painful past wasn’t helping either because now, no one trusts her.

She soon found out that what she believes is true is not the same as what the others believe is true. Most importantly, these truths can be completely different from reality.

Solid, compelling, and disturbing performance from Blunt

Emily Blunt delivers an amazing performance in “The Girl on The Train.” She had a solid acting that’s very compelling to the point that it’s disturbing. Her tight shots are very telling of the internal conflict her character’s going through and several taps on the back for the film’s make up team for making Blunt look disheveled and confused while inebriated.

Despite her character falling apart in basically every aspect of her life, Blunt managed to keep it all together and deliver a solid portrayal.

She can shift from fascinated to curious to scared to enraged at a drop and what’s impressive is she can tell a lot with just her face. I’ve never been a huge fan of Blunt but this role made me appreciate her chops.

The Bennett diversity

The Girl on the train movie review

Hayley Bennett was recently in “The Magnificent Seven” where she played a completely different role. This time, her disturbed character seemed a far cry from her heroine role in the Western flick but she managed to pull it off really well.

Megan looks innocent, the girl-next-door type but she hides a promiscuous persona and a very dark secret. Bennett’s sultry looks made her perfect for the role.

Director Tate Taylor has captured the essence of Paula Hawkin’s best selling novel. Although told specifically from the point of view of Rachel, the movie allowed us to also get inside the minds of Megan and Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), Tom’s new wife and get a clearer perspective on their individual truths.

It’s a really good suspense thriller that will force us to take a deeper look inside each character. It goes beyond the formulaic themes where there are archetypes. We have a conflicted heroine and everyone’s got something to hide. It will keep you on the edge of your seat, trying to guess who’s done what.

The entire movie comes down to an explosive ending that will satisfy your curious minds.

 

The Girl on the Train

Director: Tate Taylor

Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson

Cast: Emily Blunt, Justin Theroux, Hayley Bennett, Luke Evans, Rebecca Ferguson, Allison Janney, Lisa Kudrow, Edgar Ramirez

 

Photos courtesy of United International Pictures

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