A while back, I was immensely interested in the NYT Bestseller list. Week by week, I’d go through the new list of bestsellers, and I’d consistently look for something to catch my eye. One of those books was The Girl on the Train. I had always planned to read it, but I never got around to it. Maybe that’s because it had some weird mixed reviews (as did the movie), but something about it still had me intrigued enough to at least watch the story in movie form. So was it worth it? It was something, I’ll tell you that. Let’s talk about The Girl on the Train.
“The Girl on the Train is the story of Rachel Watson’s life post-divorce. Every day, she takes the train in to work in New York, and every day the train passes by her old house. The house she lived in with her husband, who still lives there, with his new wife and child. As she attempts to not focus on her pain, she starts watching a couple who live a few houses down — Megan and Scott Hipwell. She creates a wonderful dream life for them in her head, about how they are a perfect happy family. And then one day, as the train passes, she sees something shocking, filling her with rage. The next day, she wakes up with a horrible hangover, various wounds and bruises, and no memory of the night before. She has only a feeling: something bad happened. Then come the TV reports: Megan Hipwell is missing. Rachel becomes invested in the case and trying to find out what happened to Megan, where she is, and what exactly she herself was up to that same night Megan went missing.” (IMDb)
In short, this is a mystery with some original content and some borrowed ideas from other whodunnits. What I’ll say is that I was guessing from beginning to end, trying to piece it together myself, and I found it mostly unpredictable. I ultimately figured it out before the movie told me, but not long before… so I definitely consider the mystery found in this film to be a success.
The acting was also pretty decent, but what concerns me is the editing. I understand what it was going for, but movies made out of order often aggrevate me… and this film was really made out of order. It does make sense with what they are going for, as it does add to the overall mystery. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not confused in the least bit of how it turned out. The style itself just sometimes bothers me, and given how many characters the film focuses on, it starts to get a bit convoluted at times, which is unfortunate.
I also don’t want to leave out the idea the film goes for in terms of reliable witnesses, and the fact that she’s an alcoholic means no one really takes her seriously, leaving her all on her own. Either this was an anti-alcohol message film, or it was exposing the idea that sometimes we can’t just toss aside people because you think they’re crazy, maybe they know more than you, even if it’s on one thing… ya never know.
The Girl on the Train is a pretty decent gritty mystery thriller that I consider rather unpredictable and definition undeserving of all of the bad reviews it got. This movie was only somewhat original, but it was put together in a way that is instantly recognizable and in general – good.
Check it out!