NOPE – It’s never a good sign when you finish watching a film and you ask yourself “What was the point?”
Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin says he likes on-screen arguments where both sides are right. So, then, is the opposite equally effective? Arguments where all sides are wrong and lack any moral clarity whatsoever? Not so much.
The Girl on the Train, written by Erin Cressida Wilson (adapted from the novel by Paula Hawkins), suffers throughout from having no redeeming characters.
Emily Blunt plays Rachel, a mess of an alcoholic who fantasizes while on her daily train commute about “the life she wants to live.” Haley Bennet plays Megan, a home wrecking nanny with a haunted past. Rebecca Ferguson plays Anna, a home wrecking stay-at-home-mom spoiled brat.
What do these three women have in common? They all have a thing for Justin Theroux’s Tom Watson (not the golfer), a creepy Wall Street type metro sexual with plucked eyebrows, expensive moisturizer, and a hot temper.
Blunt is an excellent actor, and she goes for a big expression in this film. Definitely not a flattering role, but the deplorable aspects of her character don’t slow her down a bit. She’s always good.
Directed by Tate Taylor, who made two very likable films recently, the universally applauded 2011 civil rights sleeper, The Help, and the under-appreciated James Brown bio-pic, Get On Up (2014), The Girl on the Train is well made, and, for the most part, considering its jumpy non-linear story structure, well executed.
Nonetheless, this film resembles his less notable 2008 film, Pretty Ugly People.