Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Girl on the Train

Plot: Rachel (Emily Blunt) rides the train every day to New York, and watches the people she sees from the window. She is obsessed with a young couple she does not know from her old neighborhood. One day she sees the woman, Megan (Haley Bennett) kissing a man Kamal (Edgar Ramirez) -- not her husband Scott (Luke Evans), and very soon the Megan is missing, and soon after that found dead in the near-by woods.

When Rachel is not riding the train, she gets drunk and sometimes stalks her ex-husband Tom's (Justin Theroux) house, where he lives with his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson). During this period, she woke up bloody and with a black-out of memory. Detective Riley (Allison Janney) suspects her but lacks evidence. Slowly Rachel pieces together what happened that night, and the relationships between Tom, Megan, Kamal, Anna and herself. After snake-like plot twists the villain is revealed.   [imdb]    [photos]

Review: It's a great psychological thriller and a Who-Dun-It. Emily Blunt's Rachel is unstable and maybe crazy, but how crazy and is she dangerous? What happened when she was blacked out, and whose blood was that on her?

We watch Rachel's life devolve even as she obsessively pieces together the backstory of Megan's murder.

I liked all of it. I liked Emily Blunt's depressed affect, the low key detective Riley, jealous new wife Anna and her protective relationship with the baby. It is a great movie that they don't make enough of. The best part is the complex relationships between the characters and the complex strategies that they play between each other on the personal and emotional plane.

It is a complicated story that is easier to follow in the movie than in the book. I liked the book, but I liked the movie better because Rachel's emotions are darker and crazier, and because the twists at the end are easier to follow. 

Cast: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Edgar Ramirez, Luke Evans, Edgar Ramirez. 

Directed by:
Tate Taylor

Written by: Erin Cressida Wilson, based on the novel by Paula Hawkins

The Music:
Moody orchestral music by Danny Elfman

The Visuals:
Solid visuals of the train, some clever interior shots with the actors, a few interesting paintings on the sets

4.0 stars: Fun acting by Emily Blunt, Luke Evans, and nearly everyone else. A great story told clearly. Dramatic and dark. They should make more movies like this. 


More: Critics who say the story is predictable are nuts. I read the book, and I still found the ending surprising. I think it is great.

Even More: Its the moody darkness fits the national zeitgeist.