Some say Tate Taylor’s (The Help, Get On Up) latest directorial effort is a return to the days of Hitchcock thrillers but sadly The Girl on the Train is riddled with cinematic mishaps that distract from what could be a great film.
The screen adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel follows the character of Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt), an alcoholic who becomes caught up in the disappearance of her ex-husband’s nanny. Blunt’s performance, and the rest of the cast, is the saving grace of the film, despite them all working with dialogue that at times was basic and awkward.
Issues the film falls victim to include: inconsistent VFX, unnecessary narration, and – the most problematic element – ineffective time jumps. While a non-linear plot generally works well in thrillers, there was little differentiation between the past and present, leaving the viewer constantly questioning where in the story they were focused on. The film’s reveal, however, was engaging and is done quite well with a fairly satisfying climax. (Warning: it can be graphic.)
Overall, while inconsistencies and issues plague this adaptation, audiences will be rewarded with well-executed performances and a plot that keeps you intrigued until the end.