We need to talk about The Girl on the Train. Despite the fact that it’s battling some mediocre reviews on its opening weekend, it should be on the top of your must-see list for movies coming out this fall.
The thriller manages to deal with mystery, suspense, abuse, alcoholism, self-image, sexuality, and mental health using realistic characters. Plus, it’s heavily carried by a cast of women who completely steal the big screen. Snaps for fighting gender inequality in film, The Girl on the Train. But let’s really get into it.
In case you’ve shied away from social media,and/or TV for the past month and haven’t caught the trailer, let me catch you up to speed. The Girl on the Train is a thriller/mystery that follows the story of three women, Rachel (Emily Blunt), Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) and Megan (Haley Bennett). It explores how these charactersare related to Megan Hipwell’s (Bennett’s) mysterious disappearance. For a few minutes shy of two hours, the movie keeps watchers wondering what happened to Hipwell, who’s to blame, and for the love of God, why is Emily Blunt’s character still involved? As it crosses out suspects and theories, it keeps the flow of the movie going strong. The audience doesn’t get the comfort of fitting all the pieces together halfway through the film, like your everyday episode of Law and Order. Instead, the audience has to gather new pieces of information as each of our protagonists does. I don’t want to give any spoilers away so I can’t delve in too deep, but the plot twists that continuously hit the audience make it impossible to allow one to trust any of the characters or decide who to root for. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions.
The highlight of the film is of course Emily Blunt. Blunt completely loses herself in Rachel, a divorced woman driven to alcoholism after learning she can’t conceive. She has the hard job of playing multiple viewpoints of one woman but she performs each of them with such heartfelt sincerity that even when you think she’s stealing a baby, you can’t give up on her. In parts of the film you know she’s delusional, other parts you think everyone else must be. The hand twitching, constant fiddling and stuttering bring you so deep into this character and as you think you’re watching her unfold, you realize you’re really watching her rebuild. Blunt manages to let her character be the worst case scenario no one wants to find they’ve become. All of these characteristics combined makes her a wonderful character that you can really believe in.
With that being said, it’s also important to mention Haley Bennett’s performance of Megan. She so easily could have been the sad girl with wanderlust we see in every indie movie ever created. But she lets her character grow into more than that. She became a lesson, a symbol of strength and an idea of recreation that maybe sad girl’s with wanderlust need to see occasionally. It’s fortunate the story is told through a timeline of flashbacks so that the audience doesn’t have to say goodbye to Megan’s point of view so early on in the movie. This woman proved to be one of the most interesting and complex parts of the film.
To be fair, not everything in this movie was flawless. It wasn’t this year’s Gone Girl, although it may be as close to that as we get for a while. There were parts of the film that were brought in and then left behind, like Allison Janney’s good/bad cop or Luke Evan’s angry husband routine. There were times where it felt like we were just getting to something real, but then we’re shown another scene that make us forget about that intense moment. On the bright side though, the plot was more often than not , equally interesting and led us to the resolution. In a movie that lasts two hours, there are bound to be some slow spots. Luckily, with The Girl on the Train, they were few and far between.
Therefore, I’m telling you to ignore the critics and give The Girl on the Train a shot this month. Compared to your other options (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children or that Kevin Hart movie?) this won’t be a waste of money and will give you two hours of trying to figure out what in the world is going on. All I’m asking is for you to support Blunt just a fraction as much as John Krasinski does.
Enjoy the movie. Treat yourself to some popcorn and then comment on this and tell me that you also loved it and don’t believe it deserved such mediocre reviews. Sure, it may not be the craziest or the creepiest movie you’ve ever seen, but it’ll definitely give you something that you haven’t seen in theaters in a while.