Review: The (Slightly Intoxicated) Girl On The Train

Blunt brilliant, plot not so…

Reporter: Ryan Elliott | Sub-Editor: Raynor Fry


Credit: The New Republic

Credit: The New Republic


We’ve all been there. You and a group of friends head to the cinema to watch an adaptation of a well-received book, with an air of expectation and anticipation cloaking all present. Time passes by, and before you know it, the flick comes to a finish. You, as well as others, begin offering critique to one another about what you’ve just watched, and of course, THAT friend pipes up.

“The book was better,” They’ll say. How cliché. Here’s the thing though – they’re quite possibly correct. The Girl On The Train sadly became a classic example, and though Paula Hawkins’ book was a New York Times Best Seller, the film struggled for direction and substance from the word go.

The film follows Rachel (Emily Blunt), an alcohol divorcee who spends her daily commute fantasising about the life of an often-visible couple – whose house is right beside the railway line. Rachel pictures the two of them as ‘the perfect couple’, until things changed drastically one morning, when she saw the female on the balcony with another man in what appeared to be an intimate situation.


It just so happens Rachel’s ex-husband – whose former mistress is now his wife – lives next door to the couple, and when the woman from Rachel’s fantasy goes missing, she can’t help but get involved – with twists and turns galore, and suspects aplenty.

It must be said – Emily Blunt was brilliant. She fulfilled the role of the confused, depressed and often intoxicated Rachel Watson perfectly. Sadly, though, the positives stopped there. The movie just felt like it was plodding along, and even the seemingly significant twists just weren’t that surprising.

With a psychological thriller, the key can be to reveal as much as possible in the latter stages of the movie – much to the surprise of the viewer. This, however, was far too obvious. After a quite insignificant opening half to the movie, it becomes abundantly clear who the ‘mystery’ antagonist actually is. You can actually see their figure in the frame of one flashback, which completely ruins the end of the movie.

The big reveal at the end was in no way surprising or shocking, it was just common sense. Nothing, other than the performance of Blunt, was satisfying about this film. With the release of the DVD imminent – it’d be unfair to suggest buying it. Honestly, buy the book instead, and allow your imagination to fulfil the void left by the underwhelming movie.

You can watch the trailer here:

Final verdict: 2/5*



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