Hi everyone, Bryan here….
I can certainly see the appeal of Paula Hawkins’ first successful novel ‘The Girl on the Train‘, which was released in 2015, and was fast-tracked and optioned into a major motion picture by Universal Pictures to come out this weekend. It has some deeply dark and layered characters and tackles a range of emotions and vices from alcoholism, abuse, and even a murder. It’s a good story with a who-done-it angle that feels fresh and original. The problem here is that the film felt a bit rushed and lazy, which gave way to the very slow burn the film has and never quite stays on point with its many flashbacks and timing, often times showing the same scene several times. It just got tedious and redundant twenty minutes in and never stopped being overly dramatic with longing stares, tears, and silence.
The film didn’t have an easy flow or pace to it, which could be derived from Erin Cressida Wilson’s (Secretary) screenplay, which has a certain motive of to find out who the killer is, but the journey to get there is just dull and boring. Director Tate Taylor (The Help, Get On Up) doesn’t add anything striking to the camerawork, besides making certain scenes hazy and blurry, as to make us feel drunk the whole time, like our protagonist Rachel (Emily Blunt). There really just wasn’t anything special about the way the film looked, as everything had a very gray or muted color palette, minus a couple of scenes inside Rachel’s roommate’s (Laura Prepon) house.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story here or haven’t read the book, the story centers on Rachel (Blunt), who is recently divorced and has trouble with drinking. She takes the train to New York every morning for work, and on the way, she notices her old house where her husband (Justin Theroux) and new wife (Rebecca Ferguson) and kid live. Next door to them is her old neighbors, which are a young couple (Luke Evans and Haley Bennett) who seem very much in love. One day on the train, Rachel sees something out of the ordinary, which sets in motion the whole plot of the film. From here, Rachel tries to figure out and solve a murder to someone she knows.
Again, this sounds good on paper, but was not executed well on film. Allison Janney shows up in a few scenes as a detective and plays the part very well. Also, Lisa Kudrow shows up for a few seconds and is probably my favorite character in the whole movie, but isn’t given any time to do anything with. Blunt does a decent enough job here, but like every character in the film, besides the actors who get less than a few minutes of screen time, play their roles in a very melancholy way, which drives the film into dull territory, which makes for a very slow and dragged out 112 minute experience.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the film was the score, which was done by Danny Elfman, who scores most of Tim Burton’s films as well as some great animated TV Shows (The Simpsons, Futurama). You wouldn’t know it was a Danny Elfman score though, as he brought something new to the soundtrack here that keeps things tense and off-beat.
WAIT FOR NETFLIX!