THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

★★★

OFF THE RAILS

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Jess Fenton
5th October 2016

Sometimes when I'm feeling particularly low and need a little boost, I just tune in to 10-20 minutes of 'Teen Mom' on MTV and then I feel invigorated - peppy even, with a new outlook on life and my own self worth. But it now seems that I may have found a new contender for "Jess' happy pills", and it's called 'The Girl on the Train'. With the excitement of 'Gone Girl' done, dusted and so two years ago (almost to the day) it’s time for us to start salivating over the latest crazy chick thriller bestseller-turned-film adaptation.

This latest bunny-boiler may not boast David Fincher's name above the title but it is giving him and ‘Gone Girl’ a run for their money with Tate Taylor ('The Help') in the director’s chair and Erin Cressida Wilson - the mind, the twist, the kink and the pen behind ‘Secretary’ and ‘Fur’ - with her name on the screenplay.

SWITCH: 'THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN' TRAILER

Rachel (Emily Blunt) is an alcoholic shell of her former self. Barren, betrayed and left by her husband for another woman, Rachel now spends her days riding the train to and from Manhattan for pain-erasing benders. It just so happens that her daily train runs past her former home, the home her ex-husband (Justin Theroux) now shares with his new wife (Rebecca Ferguson) and baby. And just a few doors down is Rachel’s fantasy couple, Megan (Haley Bennett) and Scott (Luke Evans) - young, beautiful, in love and with their lives together ahead of them... Or so she thinks. One morning Rachel witnesses what she believes is an affair between Megan and a mystery man. When she tries to confront Megan in a drunken stupor that evening, Rachel suffers one of her infamous blackouts. Waking up the following morning bloodied and with no memory of her actions, she quickly learns that Megan is now missing and she has to get her life together so she can piece together the puzzle and exonerate herself.

The thrill and suspense that captivated millions of readers in the past now gets lost along the way.

Emily, looking as far removed from a 'Runway' employee as possible, is brilliant. Unglamorous and looking like she’s seen the bottom of far too many bottles and been kicked while down there one too many times, Blunt brings to life startling dimensions to a character well and truly no longer 2D. However, with Taylor choosing to focus more on his three leading ladies (who are all fabulous) and their sob stories, the thrill and suspense that captivated millions of readers in the past now gets lost along the way, making for a predictable and not quite knock-out conclusion.

With the cast, writer and source material all primed and ready, there’s just so much potential that’s now sadly lay to waste. I can’t imagine fans of the book will be satisfied here, but newcomers such as myself will still get a good kick out of this solid female-led drama.

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