The Girl on the Train – Film Review

The film adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel “The Girl on the Train” is directed by Tate Taylor. Tate Taylor, who initially caught my attention with the film “The Help,” once again proves that he is a director worth paying attention to, one who can deliver and engage. As someone who hadn’t read the book before, I want to congratulate author Paula Hawkins and screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson. In terms of the screenplay, I can say that it was the best I’ve seen since “Demolition” in 2016. The director’s choice of cross-cutting and non-linear storytelling keeps the film engaging for me, at least, without ever feeling tedious.

Emily Blunt portrays Rachel, a woman on the brink of alcoholism, struggling to hold herself together. Rachel, in her pitiful state, continually rides the train past her former husband’s house, who betrayed her, and watches her old home and her neighbors’ house. One day, Rachel decides to confront her past by going back to her old house and passes out on the way. The next day, waking up in a blood-soaked bed, she learns from the news that her former neighbor Megan (Haley Bennett) has gone missing. However, she can’t remember anything from the day before. With Megan’s disappearance, the police come knocking at Rachel’s door, and the pieces of Rachel’s past and the truth begin to unravel.

The film features a successful non-linear narrative. Forward jumps in time, backward leaps, and reflections of unrealized, imaginary scenes are effectively employed. We follow the story through the perspectives of three different women: Rachel, the missing Megan, and Anna, portrayed by Rebecca Ferguson. We try to piece together Megan’s disappearance by delving into the lives and experiences of these three women. After Megan goes missing, Rachel starts to investigate the case and believes that by solving it, she can fill the gaps in her memory.

While Emily Blunt delivers an exceptional performance, Haley Bennett shines in the film due to her central role. The editing and direction further enrich these strong performances. However, above all, there is a high-quality screenplay at the core of the film. I want to congratulate Erin Cressida Wilson, the screenwriter of the film. All the plans, all the scenes are interconnected, and as the story unfolds, the puzzle pieces fall into place one by one. Every detail, down to the smallest ones, is meticulously crafted, and every moment in the visuals has meaning. Despite its slow pace, it manages to hold your attention without ever getting boring.

If you don’t particularly enjoy slow-paced films, you might not be a fan of “The Girl on the Train,” especially given its gray-toned palette. But that’s precisely what the film aims for. Or if you’ve read the book, you might naturally be a bit skeptical, but if you’re interested in film screenplays, it’s genuinely a successful film. I can say that it’s a valuable film that will provide an enjoyable viewing experience.

Cast & Crew

director: Tate Taylor

writers: Erin Cressida Wilson

starring: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramírez, Lisa Kudrow

USA – INDIA | 2016 | 112 MINUTES |


Ukrainian Creative Director | Motion Picture Writer | Horror Freak

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