I am a big fan of mysteries and thrillers. Throw in a little mental illness and psychological drama and I’m in. The aspect of The Girl on the Train that I liked the most was the slow development of Rachel’s story, played by Emily Blunt. The speed of this film has been a disliked aspect, but without it there would be no story. The disjointed nature of the film keeps the viewer guessing, although I will admit it grasps unnecessarily at plot points. The arc of the film and the mystery itself is not especially earth shattering or novel. It is Rachel’s story outside of the murder mystery that I find most engaging.
It is easy to paint her as a victim, but this is only half of her position in the film. The root of her issues are link to the absence of a support system and her self-confidence. She was unable to pull herself out of the bottle long enough to breath let alone deal with her problems.
Rachel’s actions in regards to the mystery are a way for her to feel useful and to prove that she is capable of companionship again. Unfortunately, the way she conducts herself is irrational and hard to support as a viewer. The truth behind her alcoholism does not make me feel empathy for her. Instead I feel empathy for the fact that she lacks the ability to take real ownership of her problem and pull herself out of it. It is without question that Blunt carried this film in her honest performance of a visceral drunk. If the rest of the characters had as much development as Rachel instead of frivolous plot points then there may have been more acclaim for this film.
Directed by: Tate Taylor
Cinematography: Charlotte Bruus Christensen
Screenplay by: Erin Cressida Wilson
Music by: Danny Elfman
Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux
Runtime: 1h 52m
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Distributed by: Universal Pictures