THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN Movie Review by The Commander


2-1/2 (out of 4 stars)
Without knowing anything about the book for the premise of this film, I watched in the vain for 30 minutes for something to happen.  What I saw was three different stories narrated by three different women about their problems in life.  Rachel (Emily Blunt) a post-divorced alcoholic (I can't stand alcoholics), Megan (Haley Bennett) a young girl with a varied past and seemingly no future, and Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) a housewife who just had a baby.  A lot of time was spent following Rachel, the alcoholic character, which literally made me want to pull my eyeballs out of the socket.  It reminded me why I can't stand dealing with alcoholics.
The beginning of this film is told through the eyes of Rachel, as she rides the train to and from work in New York.  She sits and watches as the train passes by her old house, where her ex-husband, Tom (Justin Theroux) now lives with his new wife Anna and their baby.  A few doors down lives Megan and Scott Hipwell, a young couple whom Rachel observes on her daily train ride on their balcony always embracing.  Rachel fanaticizes the two couples having the perfect family and relationship while she suffers through the agony of a failed marriage, drinking herself to oblivion.
After a while the three stories come together after Megan is found missing, which leads up to something very sinister.  This is where the film now becomes more interesting, which brings out the Sherlock Holmes curiosity in me.  Unfortunately, I tend to be a little too good at solving these type of mysteries, so I found myself waiting through the last hour to see if I was right (I was!).
Several side stories were brought in as a distraction:  Luke Evans as Scott, Megan’s husband, a brute who could easily kill you with his bare hands;  Edgar Ramírez as Dr. Kamal Abdic, Megan’s therapist who just might be having an affair with Megan;  and Allison Janney, Detective Riley, the tough police detective who’s trying to solve the case.
The problem with this type of film is that once the director shifts into thriller mode, he makes it too easy to figure out the culprit.  While the beginning seemed to drag on forever, the director (Tate Taylor) elongated the ending once you knew the culprit.  It was bizarre that he dragged it on for so long.  It was unnecessary and left you pondering, “Why?”
The trailer for the movie gave me a totally different representation of this film, which I thought was a good premise.  However, the presentation of the material jumping backwards and forwards in time between the three stories just made the viewing a little nauseating.  Add in the narration by three lead female characters, this becomes more of a chick-flick in psychotherapy session than it does a true thriller.  It's a mixed bag.  Slow ‘artsy fartzy’ in the beginning, drama in the middle, and a ‘whodunit’ in the end.  Not what you would call a popcorn movie.

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