When David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” was released in 2014, the world held its breath as carefully developed storylines played their way through the film’s highly entertaining runtime. Fast forward to 2016 and Lionsgate’s attempt to capitalise on this hysteria came in the form of the much appreciated novel “The Girl on The Train”. With heavy hitters such as Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson lending their talents to this Paula Hawkins’ bestseller it seemed reasonable to assume an instant level of success would befall a movie merely retreading the hallowed ground laid before it.
“The Girl on The Train” follows the interwoven story of 3 women. It seemed to many that these stories were the express line to a winning performance. That was nowhere near the case.
Rachel (Emily Blunt) is a divorced alcoholic struggling to come to terms with her unexpectedly sudden change in circumstances. Her obsession with a woman (Haley Bennett) living 2 doors away from her old home grows as she travels by train to and from her new home, openly expressing interest in this woman’s seemingly perfect existence.
Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) is the former lover, and now wife, of Rachel’s ex-Husband, Tom (Justin Theroux). The continual torment received from the much maligned Rachel has begun to cause unnecessary strain on this fledging relationship, coupled with the sudden departure of nanny Megan (Bennett), Anna begins to grow increasingly desperate in her attempt to achieve as normal a life as possible.
Megan has started to grow more and more frustrated with her formulaic existence. In between despising her job and a new found lust towards a new man all seems to be going from bad to worse until she is eventually declared missing by her concerned partner (Luke Evans)
Get that? Nor me, and that’s only a synopsis! A ridiculous film with a premise that fails to address important mental and social issues facing a number of people today. With ludicrous twists, ineffable character development and an overall lapse in judgment by all involved in this weak attempt at a conducive thriller.
ROUND 1 SCORE: 3/10
ROUND 2 – CHARACTERS
As mentioned in the previous round, “The Girl on The Train” is at its heart a character centric piece highlighting the effects a person’s actions can have in relation to their mental and social well-being. The main concern, however, was that there was no clear indication as to who the audience should be rooting for? The poorly drunk Rachel, the naive Anna or the narcissistic Megan? The only character I felt any form of empathy towards was the unfortunate Luke Evans caught up in this complete derailment of a story.
Unfortunately for this film the performances of the actors involved fail to add any weight to this already deteriorating contest. With such a talented roster of people lending their collective skills it should be a foregone conclusion that this adaptation strikes the perfect balance between fact and fiction. Instead we are subject to weak portrayals of already mediocre characters in no way drawing inspiration from anyone with any hint of these incredibly difficult conditions.
ROUND 2 SCORE: 3/10
ROUND 3 – OVERALL ENJOYMENT
After 2 long and arduous rounds it had become painfully obvious that “The Girl on The Train” was not going to be an enjoyable experience. There was not a single moment throughout the entire film that felt memorable for all of the right reasons.
From the opening judgmental glares towards Rachel as she belligerently drinks herself into a stupor on the titular Train to the horrifyingly poorly addressed domestic abuse issues raised during the film’s weak final act, this get more like an excuse to capitalise on a book’s pre-established success instead of a truly great vision realised in a incredibly true portrayal of the source material.
ROUND 3 SCORE: 2/10
Final Score- The Girl on The Train loses by decision 8/30
I am not afraid to say that I have not read the original source material by Paula Hawkins, however if I wanted to know that story in it’s full detail I would obviously do so. However if the book is such a great read it wouldn’t be so difficult to produce an enjoyable film for audiences to view. This lifeless adaptation fails to carry any momentum from the source, instead, it manages to generate a film ignorant towards the issues it is supposedly addressing.