So, sometimes it is best to leave a book – a book. In the case of ‘The Girl on the Train’ I would have to agree.
Fans of Paula Hawkin’s number one, worldwide bestselling book have reacted with slight dismay at this year’s highly anticipated thriller movie adaptation, and so have I. Here’s why…
Now the grit of the book being set in the perspective of a London commuter is entirely lost as soon as the film begins. The opening shots are all of Emily Blunt (who plays main character, Rachel) sitting on an American train travelling into Grand Central Station, New York. The houses look and are American, but the book completely goes against this and makes you visualise a completely different type of commute – some of you may think this is a minor flaw, but I preferred the English touch of the story.
Emily Blunt – The Girl; and Others
The one positive from this movie has to be the convincing story that Emily Blunt portrays on screen. Emily plays the role of main character Rachel who is a derailed heroine, alcoholic and somebody who looks extremely disheveled throughout (film-goers will ooze sympathy for her from the very beginning). Suppressed from her divorce from Justin Theroux (who plays ex husband Tom), Emily’s character travels past their old home every day, where her ex husband now lives with his new partner, Anna (played by Rebecca Ferguson). However, Rachel becomes obsessed with making up stories about a couple who live a few doors down from her ex-husband – and this is where the true grit of the tale begins. This obsession with the neighboring couple quickly picks up the pace when the woman she has been watching, Megan (who is played by Haley Bennett) disappears. The issue is – Rachel was in an alcoholic blur the night that Megan went missing and wakes up covered in blood the day the news breaks of her being gone – was it Rachel?
The Feminist Argument
Although Emily Blunt plays the role perfectly and so convincingly throughout the film, there is a huge issue at how all the women are played out to be either alcoholics, deranged or controlled. The ending some may consider to be an empowering moment, however the entire film focuses on each woman’s weakness a little too much. The film breaks up different segments for the tale of all three key women: Rachel’s is a slurred drunken state mainly, Anna is the cosy stay at home mum with a controlling husband and Megan’s is the man hungry woman who can’t keep her knickers on. Not promising for us feminists…
The film got to the 90th minute and the producers could have easily wrapped the story up. I felt the ending was prolonged and once you guess who, what, where, when and how – the film really should have tied the dramatics up a little sooner. However, I did like the end scene which involved Blunt’s character, Rachel looking no longer disheveled, messy and lost, but like a commuter sitting on a train, enjoying her journey home.
If you haven’t seen it yet, the film was released Friday 7th October in all UK cinemas. It’s worth a watch, especially if you haven’t read the book.