The Girl on the Train

This is a hopeless film about hopeless people.

the-girl-on-the-trainWhile I never read Paula Hawkins’ bestselling book, “The Girl on the Train”, it had to be better than this film. The movie is uninspiring, dull, repetitive and lacking a single character with any energy or charm.

I know that there will be many who disagree with this review, but the entire film left me shaking my head. It is hard to make that critical observation given the fact that I greatly admire both Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson, talented actresses who do their best to give this sad film a little spunk. However, despite their efforts, this is a movie that takes a long time to go nowhere.

To the extent that it matters, Ms. Blunt plays Rachel, a woman reeling from a recent divorce. She uses booze as an outlet, and constantly rides a train where she watches a couple living in a home near the residence where she previously lived with Tom (Justin Theroux), her ex-husband.

As Rachel becomes fixated on the relationship of Megan (Haley Bennett) and her husband Scott (Luke Evans), curiosity turns to jealousy. Though this couple seems to have everything Rachel is missing, she is in for a gigantic surprise.

The sad fact of this sadder film is that Ms. Blunt’s Rachel is in constant tears throughout the movie. She is a miserable woman who leaves the theater audience feeling almost as miserable as her.

Bennett’s Megan is as disinterested in life as most of the audience becomes by the movie’s end. Tom’s new wife Anna (Ms. Ferguson) spends most of her life trying to keep her child away from Rachel, who sporadically appears inebriated at her front door. Poor Anna seems to conveniently forget that she was banging Tom while he was married to the deranged Rachel.

If that isn’t bad enough, consider the fact that all of the men in this picture are supremely unlikable. Tom is a jerk, Scott seems perfectly happy to live with a psychotic wife and the psychiatrist (Edgar Ramirez) who is counseling Megan becomes a tad unprofessional as he dallies with her sexual advances. If any of these three regrettable characters are supposed to be symbols for what American women desire to marry, then the movie sends a strong message that all young girls be taught to stay single.

Yes, this movie is supposed to be a whodunit concerning the disappearance of one of the characters, but I lost interest less than halfway through the film. I prefer to remember Ms. Blunt from last year’s Sicario and Ms. Ferguson for both this year’s Florence Foster Jenkins and Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015). I’d strongly advise both to leave this film off their resumes.