The best selling book becomes one of the best thrillers that have graced the silver screen in the last year. Rachel travels the train every day from the room she rents from a friend to the city of New York, along the way she stares at a house, she imagines herself being the woman that lives there, and each day depending on her mood she imagines life as this woman. When this young woman goes missing she finds herself in the mix. This is no run of the mill thriller which you can guess the ending, this is masterfully crafted psychological suspense that you can’t find anywhere else this year.
I have not read the book of this one, I’ve heard a local Radio DJ here in Ireland go on and on about the book, but haven’t gotten around to picking it up. Leaving this screening the other reviewers were saying how in some parts of the film there is a lot of faithfulness going on, while others who have read the book just seem upset that the setting has moved from London to New York.
Rachel is played by Emily Blunt, who gives the performance of her life, as she translates the emotionally fragile and alcoholic woman. A lot of people I know have underrated her for years but for me this is a performer coming into the golden era of her career. I would be shocked if she does not get a nomination for a big award coming to the awards season. As the story unfolds and we find out more about Rachel and the breakdown of the marriage, the loss of her family house, the relationship between her and her ex husband, we find a film that you have to concentrate on. Too many films you can walk out of the cinema and come back 10 minutes later and not lose a beat, here there is so much going on that you just can’t even blink. It’s not that there is a lot of action, it’s just that you need to see each character develop. Rebecca Ferguson is amazing and walks the delicate line of new wife and mother and possible villain. While Haley Bennett is rock steady as the object of Rachel’s attentions. Luke Evans is your go to guy these days, playing the husband of the missing Haley Bennett character, he seems to be the character actor who could be evil could be good. The performance that really made me happy is Justin Theroux, who finally gets a great role, he plays Rachel’s ex. This performance should be the start of something more than just bit parts for him, he should be proud of this role.
The film is broken into different chapters, which helps, but also adds to the non blinking issue, you can easily get lost if you lose your concentration for a moment. If you don’t know the book or what happens therein you get that amazing feeling with a good thriller of not knowing where you are going. Too many supposed thrillers these days you can write in your mind after a few minutes and you’ll be right 90% of the time. Here in The Girl on the Train you are led to believe one thing, and in a manner it’s correct, but the truth is subjective here, and when you look at something from a different view then everything is turned on its head.
The film is a dark place of human psychology showing how fragile we are emotionally, how reality is a point of view. I want to read the book after watching this film as I want to get more from this story. When you see Rachel on the self destructive route that she has taken in life you start to, not feel sorry for her, but understand her. When the story unfolds in the final third of the film you sit there in a form of giddy joy with this, and I don’t say this lightly, the best thriller in my recent memory. People that know me know that I love horrors, but a good thriller will have my cute back side at a cinema just as quick. I’ll be going back to see this truthful to human psychology thriller, every action and reaction feels real and natural, so just gather my change up, wait for opening morning and I’ll be there. I urge fans of the book and non fans to get together and have the most tense cinema experience in a long time.