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‘The Girl on the Train’ a Clever Thriller

By Teri Bayus

Another domestic horror film to freak out the married people has arrived. Like “Gone Girl, Gone,” “The Girl on the Train,” is a dark terror account of what happens when relationships go sour.

Despite having read the novel, I was still able to appreciate this film and watch my hubby squirm.

The film stars Emily Blunt as Rachel Watson. Rachel has been divorced and became an alcoholic. Like many working stiffs, she takes the same train to work every single day.

On her train journey, Rachel watches and ends up fantasizing about the relationship of two of her ex-husband’s neighbors, Scott (played by Luke Evans) and Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett). She can’t stop thinking about her ex-husband and his wonderful new wife, Anna (Rebecca Ferguson).

girl-on-trainThe movie deals with the disappearance of a nanny and is told through numerous changes of time, space and perspective. We constantly switch from the present to events that happened a week, two months, four months, six months or even several years ago.

Numerous parts of the film take place in recurring, closed spaces, such as an apartment, a house, a psychologist’s office and a train. Most of the movie is told through the eyes of an alcoholic divorcée, while other parts are told through the eyes of the mentally unstable nanny.

Still other parts are, however, told through a third person, omniscient narrator, point of view.

The story is clever.  How many of us haven’t sat on a train, looked out at people and wondered how different our lives would have been, had we made different choices? The way the story unfolds is loaded with intrigue. You keep asking questions in your mind, all the way through to the revelation at the end.

Director, Tate Taylor, shoots the first half of the film with a lot of style, but the second half focuses more on the story itself. It’s a beautifully shot film at times. The acting performances are also impeccable from all concerned.

Blunt was unbelievable and even Oscar-worthy in certain scenes. Bennett and Theroux were also standouts. The intensity the cast brings is the strength of the film.

What sets this movie apart from many other thrillers that explore similar themes of adultery, sex, relationships, lust, and conceiving, is this movie explores the very nature of psychological and physical abuse in relationships.

We’re privy to the inner workings of a villain whose reprehensible, abusive nature has such shattering and devastating effects on the victims, we are quickly introduced into this world and the nature of abuse that is somewhat confronting.

In the end, what kept me watching this movie to the end are its sinister mood and the great performances by Blunt and Bennett. The below average plot and repetitive storytelling patterns are the downsides of this film.

Teri Bayus is the Host of Taste Buds, shown on Charter Cable Ch. 10 and on Central Coast Now TV. Teri’s culinary erotic book, “Consumed,” is available at: www.amazon.com/Consumed-Teri-Bayus-ebook/dp/B016DW85PA. Dinner and a Movie is a regular feature of Tolosa Press.

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