The Girl on the Train

Based on the runaway best-selling book published in 2015, The Girl on the Train is an entertaining psychological thriller whose greatest assets are the acting from Emily Blunt and the plot twists. Blunt does a superb job of playing Rachel Watson, a recently divorced woman who is mentally unhinged suffering from severe alcoholism and delusions. She becomes obsessive over a couple she sees from the train that she takes her on daily commute to and from New York City. Rachel soon learns that the woman, whose name is Megan, is actually the nanny to her ex-husband’s infant daughter from his new marriage. Her estranged ex-husband Tom, portrayed by Justin Theroux, and his new wife Anna also live a few doors down from Megan and her husband Scott. Not knowing whether Rachel is correct or simply crazy, the viewer becomes increasingly suspicious of her belief that the characters are involved in extramarital affairs or even more nefarious actions. Things get particularly intense after the mysterious disappearance of Megan, and the audience is left wondering if Rachel is somehow involved. Already accused of stalking Tom and Anna, the police led by a detective, played by Allison Janney, pin Rachel as the primary suspect. The film is particularly intriguing because what we came to believe was true in the beginning is completely thrown out the window towards the end. The viewer begins to second-guess all of the characters’ stories, particularly all the nasty things Tom has said about his ex-wife Rachel. Although I thoroughly enjoy movies with surprise endings, many parts of the plot are somewhat far-fetched and rely heavily on coincidences. For instance, what are the chances that Rachel from a fast-moving train could really see important moments at exactly the right time? Overall, I thought the film did a fairly good job of presenting the elements of a melodramatic psychological thriller, complete with unexpected events and not knowing who to trust, but fell short of transcending the genre like 2014’s Gone Girl.

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