The Girl on the Train: A Wreck!
“The Girl on the Train” concerns a woman who keeps riding a commuter train day-in-day-out because she has nothing else to do. [We are already in trouble]. Mysteriously, she espies another woman who turns out to be murdered somewhere in this tangled story involving a psychiatrist who seems to randomly appear throughout the movie.
I will be damned if anyone can figure out what went on and who did what to whom in this highly discombobulated film. This movie was based on a novel by Paula Hawkins and optioned by a Marc Platt. I don’t know who he is but if he were a real producer, he would have junked this script.
Apparently this adapted screenplay was written by a Prof. Erin Cressida Wilson. She has taught writing for movies at Duke Univ., Brown Univ. and other prestigious institutions. Ms. Erin gives credence to the axiom: “those who can’t do, teach!”
When you start a movie with voiceovers and next insert flashbacks, and personal exegeses, you can assume that the scriptwriter/film is in serious trouble. This film started to descend into a crash as Rachel Watson, an alcoholic and abused ex-wife, contemplates her miserable life as an inveterate passenger on this interminable commuter train between NYC and a suburb on the Hudson.
Without revealing the highly-contrived ending, I would venture to make the following statements:
- It would have been helpful if the director, Tate Taylor, knew how to develop both the script and camera angles into a steady crescendo of dramatic action.
- Both film editors, Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland, should have cut out a good half-an-hour from a story line that became entangled in its own solipsism within the first hour of the film.
Now that I described how terrible the film really is; I have to commend the two actresses whose outstanding performances allowed me to tolerate this wreck. First and foremost, I would applaud Emily Blunt who played the role of the alcoholic who blacks-out at different times during the day. The thrust of the storyline concerns Blunt’s myriad attempts to uncover the mysterious death of Megan Hipwell, portrayed by Haley Bennett,a convincingly seductive borderline personality.
I would nominate Emily Blunt for the Best Female Actress of 2016. Similarly,I would consider Haley Bennett for Best Supporting Actress. In the movie business,a partial recommendation is as good as it gets.