The Girl On The Train – review

Well this is a change of pace. I’m in no position to apologise for the lateness of this critique, as I was away last week with the army, and between polishing, ironing, and spending money on additional shit that I didn’t need, I didn’t get around to review The Girl On The Train. But for what it’s worth here are my thoughts on the matter.

Let me start this review by saying that The Girl On The Train is by no means what you would call ‘casual viewing’. Centred around the life of alcoholic divorcee Rachel, the film pull absolutely zero punches with its depiction of alcohol abuse. This is one of the few times I’ve seen drunkenness portrayed with weight rather than levity, as its usually reserved for comedic purposes, and the result is something that stays with you even after you leave the cinema. Emily Blunt’s acting is, despite what some critics have said, disturbingly well realised, and brings across both sympathy and fear for her character’s struggles.

Of course there’s more to it than that. Rachel’s drunken stalking of her ex-husband from the window of the train leads to her being entangled in a missing persons investigation; the main driving point of the plot. It’s very tightly woven and even with few suspects the nature of the crime is kept secret right up until the climax. The plot does lurch a little in terms of exposition, with Allison Janney completely wasted as a by-the-numbers detective who pops up every so often with fresh drama, but doesn’t matter so much as it’s the characters we are invested in. Casting is generally good, with the two male leads providing a rather grim depiction of domestic abuse in subtly different ways, and I’m always pleased to see Lisa Kudrow pop up out of nowhere, but Janney is wasted on her role and the actress playing Megan is now named ‘Discount Jennifer Lawrence’ in my head for all eternity.

The Girl On The Train is a very hard film to watch, but not in a bad way. The acting and drama are of a very high standard, and will keep you enthralled throughout, but the subject matter is not for the faint hearted, and I imagine could well strike a little close to home for some viewers, what with alcoholism being the serious issue that it is. So don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s Desperate Housewives meets Gone Girl, because it’s a very difficult film to get through and, much like The Revenant while it is definitely worth seeing, it’s not something you’d stick on while you’re doing the ironing.


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