Note: This is a two-parter, if you want a summary of the plot, you can find one in my book review. This is just my thoughts on the movie after reading the book.
Fresh off of reading the book, I went to go see The Girl on the Train. I was really good and didn’t read any reviews beforehand, but I did see the Rotten Tomatoes score. When I saw the number, I remember thinking ‘Ah crap, I hope they’re wrong.’
And, for me at least, I think they were.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand where the 48% came from, with the melodramatic turns, technical flaws, underdeveloped characters, and some cheesy dialogue.
But Sweet Lordy Have Mercy, Emily Blunt is EVERYTHING!
Seriously, she’s the reason to go see this movie. Blunt is giving a performance that is probably too good for this movie. I 100% believe that she is an alcoholic and I buy the motivations behind her decisions.
Due to Emily Blunt’s performance, this movie was very entertaining. I think the length of a feature film is perfect for this story (I would only expand it by 15-20 minutes to develop characters better). I’m not stuck with sad and terrible people for hours on end. Rachel’s errors in judgement (while she’s sober) are enough to be believable and not cringey.
I also have to give it up for Jennifer Lawrence doppelganger (Kaley Bennett) for her portrayal as Megan. She’s a difficult character to feel sympathy for, but I think Bennett did a great job.
Usually when I go see a movie based on a book I’ve read, I like to go with someone who hasn’t read the book, to see if their experience is similar. I have the luxury of filling in the narrative holes with what I already know, but what about the viewers who go in completely blind?
Alas, this time I went by myself, but I wager that those who haven’t read the book might have been lost. Flashbacks were used throughout the movie and there was a lot of movement back and forth throughout time. Sometimes the movement was quick and not clearly defined. I was ok, but those who haven’t read the book might have a hard time keeping up.
In terms of characters, the men actually got the short stick. Between Tom, Scott, and Abdic, not much is happening. One is just a red herring and gets one of our leading ladies to divulge exposition. The other two seem ok and then the melodrama hits. One becomes a shouty cartoon and the other is seriously underdeveloped.
I don’t know how the uber fans of the book will react to the movie (so far, not so good), but I was lukewarm to begin with, so as long as the movie was an improvement on my experience, I was satisfied.
Actually, I want to go see it again. (There might be something wrong with me)
Emily Blunt’s performance: A++