Title: The Girl on the Train
Directed by: Tate Taylor
Genre: Psychological thriller, Mystery
Starring:Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Édgar Ramírez, and Lisa Kudrow
Runtime: 112 min
Considered as the Gone Girl of 2016, The Girl on the Train focuses on Rachel (Emily Blunt), a problematic alcoholic who gets intertwined in the problems of a stranger she sees every day.
The fact that people thought and even said that this was the next Gone Girl is baffling. This film was not intriguing or even compelling, the characters were not interesting enough to catch the viewer’s attention and hearts. It was a messy film and not even the performances of the actors could save this train wreck.
The main problem of The Girl on the Train is that the characters are so flat and one dimensional that it is impossible for the viewers to connect with them. It is a dragging film with dull characters. The plot moves, the plot thickens, the plot unravels but the characters remain stagnant. This film begs the question: why should we care? Why would we care about the characters? Why would we bother following these characters journey if we do not feel anything for them?
The strong performance of Emily Blunt as Rachel was not enough to save the film. Sure, she is a great actress, and there is no doubt about that, but the character was so dull and flat that her acting skills are just put to waste. It was impossible to feel remorse or even sympathy for the character because there is a distance or a gap between this dull character and the viewers. I cannot put my finger on it but there’s just something lacking about this character. Truly, the character was unsalvageable even on the hands of the veteran actress, Blunt.
Other than the lack of interesting characters, the film suffers from the lack of flow in terms of storytelling. They kept on adding narrative’s biggest cliche: flashbacks. Adding flashbacks to build characters and add exposition, this disrupts the flow of the story and therefore breaks the momentum of the film, if there is even one. This film is considered as a psychological thriller, mystery film but the only mystery here is how could anyone survive an almost two hour film with no depth and no element to draw the viewers in.
And then there’s the shocking factor of the film. The plot twist, although it is not even a plot twist because you could see it from a mile’s away, felt like an M. Night Shyamalan plot twist where it tried to be clever and mind-blowing but it fell flat because it was terribly executed. It is such a shame to waste that concept or idea but it looks like the film failed to deliver what looked like their most valuable card.
This film was neither entertaining nor engaging. It had some of the biggest names in Hollywood but the actors are not the only element of a film. One of the trait of the main character is being unstable and not knowing what’s happening in her life and it seems like this film is suffering from the same thing.
I believe we all deserve a drink after watching this.