The Girl On The Train  (2016)

I had this movie sitting on the back burner for a while. My first impression was that it would just be a rehashing of Hitchcock's "Rear Window", but I got way more. Both stories have the same skeleton: a person indulges in some harmless voyeurism, sees something suspicious, people doubt their story, clues point in multiple directions. I had seen so many parodies of "Rear Window" before I saw the real thing that Hitchcock's original ending was a surprise to me, and the multiple twists and turns in "The Girl on the Train" hit me out of nowhere.

Rachel (Emily Blunt) is a commuter, taking the train into New York. To occupy herself during the rides, she starts to take notice of a "perfect couple" who she can see from the train. She daydreams about their life, about how happy they are, about how happy she wishes she could be. One day her perfect daydream is shattered when she sees the woman with another man. When the woman goes missing, Rachel goes to the police, but it's hard to explain that she "knows" the couple, and can't be sure of what she saw from the window of a moving train 100 feet away.

As Rachel is pressed by the police, more deeper details are uncovered. She has a drinking problem since her divorce, her ex-husband is married to their realtor, and the house she daydreams about happens to be down the street from the house she bought with her husband (from the aforementioned realtor). Flashbacks reveal darker secrets from all the characters, and one huge bombshell actually had me shook.

The acting from Blunt, along with one of my personal faves Justin Theroux was great. I also enjoyed Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez, Rebecca Ferguson, and Haley Bennett. The only weak point from the main cast was Luke Evans, who just never felt like he was in the same movie as the rest.

I used to commute via train to New York, so I could totally relate to the tedium that goes along with that ride. I would read books or listen to music, but there were definitely times I found myself just staring out the window. There were even certain buildings or houses that I started to use as landmarks, little clues as to how much longer my ride would be (other than stopping at various stations). While watching, I found myself wondering what I would do if I happened to see something that I genuinely believed was a crime. Hopefully I would avoid the alcoholism and adultery and murder.

[Celluloid Hero] gives "The Girl On The Train" an 8 out of 10.

 

 

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