October 07, 2016

Is The Girl on the Train all hype?

Does The Girl on the Train measure up to the hype or would your money be better served buying a train ticket as far away from the nearest screening as possible? The story focuses on the key characters surrounding a local woman’s disappearance as they and the viewer try to solve the mystery.

As “the girl on the train”, Rachel (Emily Blunt), spends her mornings and evenings commuting past the home of Megan (Haley Bennett), she catches herself daydreaming of the idyllic life that Megan seems to live. Yet one day, Rachel finds herself tossed into the center of the mystery of Megan’s disappearance. The story centers on Rachel’s difficulty remembering the events on the night of Megan’s disappearance as she tries to piece together a coherent story.

Although the trailer makes it seem like a fast-paced thriller, this movie is nowhere near the sort. At a few points I did feel it dragged especially considering my expectations. I also expected a lot more focus on the media and the criminal investigation. In reality, the movie was more concerned about the personal struggles of our leads. That’s certainly not to say there wasn’t mystery, but just that the mystery came more from our characters understanding themselves and the events they get caught in.

That said, I think the movie was all the better for it. The whole movie made me feel like a passenger on a train watching these events unfold one by one as if I was watching from the car’s windows. Each piece is slowly added to the puzzle, only serving to further muddle the mystery. The way the movie plays with our expectations is phenomenal. Just as you suspect we’re nearing the truth or that the audience has figured everything out, they add one more piece that completely changes the direction. As the movie serves you each piece, it leaves you wanting more. You want to know what happened and you want to know it NOW. So by the time of the big reveal, it truly feels like you earned it.

One of my favorite aspects of the movie was the big reveal. And what more could we ask for with a mystery!? It’s all about the big reveal! The scene where they finally reveal key parts of the story was itself very well done. But most importantly, I felt like the reveal was not a ham-fisted attempt at a huge “twist”. It served a purpose and it tied into our leads and their struggles masterfully. It had a purpose and it helped complete our characters’ journeys.

Overall, I have to say I loved this film. I left the theater excited and I ran home and to work blabbing on about how everyone needs to see this movie ASAP – because I need more people to talk to about it! So what are you waiting for!? Catch the next train and get your butt in the theater!

4.5 out of 5

What would I have changed? (Spoilers)
Click here to read what I would Change

Johnny Johnny (Senior Contributor) was born and raised in San Diego. He's been a fan of films the majority of his life. He enjoys the feeling it invokes and the power it has to take you to another place.
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