Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Girl on The Train

Emily Blunt, Luke Evans,
Haley Bennett, Edgar Ramirez,
Justin Theroux, Rebecca Ferguson

"What you can See can Hurt you"

This film adaptation of Paula Hawkins' novel stars Emily Blunt as Rachel Watson, a divorced alcoholic whose shattered life makes her prone to daydreaming. During her daily commute, she likes to imagine about the lives of the people whose houses she passes by while sitting on her usual seat in a train. 

It doesn't really do her any good (it evokes painful memories) as she also happens to pass by her old house where her ex husband Tom (Justin Theroux) now lives with his wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) the woman with whom he had an affair during their marriage and their young child. 

Rachel has specifically developed a fixation on Megan (Haley Bennett) and Scott (Luke Evans), whose home is a few houses away from her former residence. They seem like a 'perfect couple' until Megan suddenly goes missing and Rachel may or may not be involved in her disappearance.

I read the novel in its e-book version so it was mostly absorbed during bed time on a laptop in a dimly lit bedroom as I didn't want to disturb the hubby's much needed sleep. The novel was divided into chapters with each one focused on the three very different female characters namely Rachel, Megan and Anna.

Their different perspectives as the story tackled on the testy subjects of abuse, alcoholism and the portrayal of women as weak and needy characters was interesting but truth be told, it was messy and the writing wasn't good, at all. Yet it also held enough weight to convey its point across to the readers.

Emily Blunt as Rachel was the glue that held the entire film together. Her characterization of Rachel was visceral and her nuanced  emotions were as varied as the numerous mood swings of Rachel. Sure the film had its share of tension filled moments and enough suspense to keep you focused on the story, yet at the same time it lacked substance and depth to make it a well crafted form of narrative. 

This begs the question; why did it fail? I believe the novel itself was poorly written so the film didn't really have much to work on. But the movie remained loyal to the structure of the book. In that regard, the movie exceeded its expectations and it is just rather unfortunate it failed to be a riveting drama.

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