MOVIE REVIEW: The Girl on the Train gets lost along the way
THE Girl on the Train, the new movie based on the best-selling novel by Paul Hawkins, aims to follow in the footsteps of films like Gone Girl and deliver thought-provoking thrills, but gets too lost along the way to live up to its ambition.
Emily Blunt delivers a stand-out performance as the protagonist Rachel, an alcoholic struggling with blackouts who spends her day riding the train past her old neighbourhood, mourning the life she used to have.
After the disappearance of Megan, a woman who Rachel rides past every day and sees as the embodiment of everything she lost, the broken Rachel finds renewed purpose as she attempts to solve the mystery of what happened to Megan.
It's a film that doesn't quite understand the concept of show, don't tell.
Sure, the use of flashback, quick cutting and immersive sound design build a very defined tone and atmosphere (borrowing heavily from David Fincher) but the plot only progresses when one of the many characters decides to talk about it, either via narration or interactions that feel like they were written by someone who doesn't actually know how humans talk.
The result is an ensemble of increasingly unlikeable characters, all speaking and acting in ways that never really make sense.
This lack of connection and overall jarring storytelling robs The Girl on the Train of any suspense.
There's no real reason to stay invested in the mystery especially when the 'big twist' that was building for almost two hours actually betrays everything we'd been led to believe up until that point.
It's admittedly surprising, but it feels hollow and undeserved.
The Girl on the Train had an admirably ambitious idea of what kind of movie it wanted to be. Unfortunately, it spent so much time trying to be smart and unpredictable that it never got the simple things right.
The Girl on the Train
Stars: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney.
Director: Tate Taylor
Rating: MA 15+
Verdict: 2/5 stars