The Girl on the Train: A Ride That Doesn’t Let You Go!

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Photo Taken By: company DreamWorks Pictures Reliance Entertainment Marc Platt Productions

Emily Blunt as Rachel starring in “The Girl On The Train”

Armando Tellez, Staff Writer

The much anticipated movie adaptation of The Girl On The Train came out on October 7 leading the North American box office with a total of $24.7 million on its opening weekend. The movie directed by Tate Taylor from Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel of the same name stars Emily Blunt (Rachel), Haley Bennet (Megan), and Rebecca Ferguson (Anna) in the leading roles of the three women from which the story is told. It also stars Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, and Edgar Ramirez.

The adaptation received an assortment of mixed reviews from critics. It got a score of 44% on the rotten tomatoes scale and a 6.7/10 on IMDb.

“The British star holds it all together as her character falls apart in this US adaptation of the Paula Hawkins bestseller.” wrote Mark Kermode from The Guardian.

“The Girl on the Train is a preposterous movie but not an unenjoyable one. If that sounds like faint praise, well, it is.” wrote Manohla Dargis from The NYTimes.

As a whole, critics seemed to have a problem with the way Taylor chose to bring the book to life. Specifically, they had trouble with the way unreliable narration, through the use of rotating perspectives, was presented onscreen. Taylor attempted to tackle this problem by relying on the use of first-person narration and close-ups, but critics disagreed by deeming it excessive. Still, there’s no question that overall most critics can agree on the enjoyable nature of the movie.

The story follows Rachel as she sits on the train gazing out the window at the backyards of houses. It is in doing so that she develops an interest in a specific couple. It goes on to become an obsession where she looks forward to catching a glimpse of them twice a day. In her head they are the perfect couple; the life she wishes she had. It is when she sees something going on at the house of her favorite couple, and a woman disappears that the mystery kicks in. The rest is an uncovering of buried secrets, lies, and an assortment of suspects that make the story so appealing and fulfilling. The answer is one that you won’t see coming.

As a person who read the book, and who has now watched the movie, I believe the cinematographic adaptation is one that does the novel justice. Still, there are some minor differences. For example, the New York setting in the movie as opposed to the London setting in the novel, and the difference in the fact that Rachel in the book is described as appalling, contradictory to the casting decision of Emily Blunt for the role. Apart from that, the movie is true to the book. In my opinion, Taylor did a good job at incorporating the different points of view in the novel. Although critics say that they seem to overlap at times making the story seem messy, I believe it captures the complicated essence of the story as one where the viewers find it difficult to separate truth from lie.  

The Girl On The Train is rated “R.” The running time is of 1 hour and 45 minutes.