Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Girl on the Train Review

The Girl on the Train
Director: Tate Taylor
Cast Headliners: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux
Original Release Date: October 7th, 2016
                Much like its heroine, The Girl on The Train is very clear and good in some aspects but gets hazy in quality on others.  It offers a nuanced dark mystery thriller that excels at times but like a train loop it’s about, it can be repetitive and drawn out. But it offers some pretty unique and intriguing aspects in its experience.
                It’s a bit hazy to get of sense of things before truths are revealed, but the film follows the depressive life of Rachel (Emily Blunt), an alcoholic divorcee who eavesdrops on lives she sees from the train. As with many films, this interesting premise is slightly dipped into before its main plot arc takes over.  Throughout it though Blunt shows herself, as often is the case in her roles, to be one of the film’s strongest aspects.  Blunt’s Rachel, a bit unique amongst many protagonists of films like this, is not the best person. She can, often due to her alchoholism, edgy and mean and even a bad person. But the film makes one root and even feel bad for her at times. This is doubly so because of Blunt’s intense, emotional portrayal from sadness to curiosity to rage. She becomes a mysterious vigilante every bit as curious as the events around her.
                Events transpire which bring her into a love… geometric shape (without giving too much away, as twists always make thrillers all the more interesting) of Megan(Haley Bennett), Anna(Rebecca Ferguson), Tom (Justin Theroux), and Scott(Luke Evans) who are all neighbors in a perfectly typical but underlyinglly dark suburbia.  The supporting cast , like Blunt, is for the most part full of great performers if less so than the main star. Everyone in the film is flawed too. Whether it’s Bennett’s lost Megan, Evan’s charismatic yet grumpy Scott, or Theroux’s friendly yet stern Tom.  Ferguson’s Anna is less notable though competent.  Additional minor character’s decently fill things out like the no nonsense Detective (Allison Janney) or Dr.Kamal(Edgar Ramirez).
                The tone and atmosphere of the film is fantastic as well. This is a very different piece for director Tate Taylor compared to his past work such as The Help. He steps into helming a dark film like this just fine. The visual direction is great, with close views and angles ramping up the always present mystery and occasional intensity.  The score of the film is at times not present but when it is its moody and very good. It presumingly adds to the adaptation of the novel this is originally based upon.
                For all the film’s strengths it certainly isn’t perfect. The plot offers surprises that are at times shocking but also telegraphed a mile awhile. And when it does reveal things, it repeats these revelations again and again. The pacing is also a bit of a ricekty roller coaster, at times somber and emotional but other times pulse pounding. This inconsistency is sparse however for a otherwise good ride.
                The Girl On The Train may appear to be very typical for the genre, but has enough good and even unique aspects to make it stand out.  It’s a slow burner, but offers rewards for waiting it out and characters to like.  7.65 out of 10


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