The mystery of why your Northern Rail Trains service is always late would make a more compelling mystery than The Girl on the Train.
Based on the 2015 novel of the same name The Girl on the Train tells the story of Rachel (Emily Blunt) an alcoholic who’s life has fallen apart after her husband Tom (Justin Theroux) left her for another woman, Anna (Rebecca Ferguson).
Each day Rachel rides the train and fantasises about her neighbour Megan (Haley Bennett) and her perfect life. However when Megan goes missing Rachel and Anna becomes embroiled in the mystery of her disappearance.
After seeing the trailers and hearing the hype for Girl I was quite excited to see the film, so it’s with some disappointment that I have to admit it’s not great.
That’s not to say it’s terrible, just that in terms of a mystery thriller it’s more pedestrian than high-speed rail. That said, the three leads do a good job, especially Emily Blunt who gives an amazing performance as troubled alcoholic Rachel.
Blunt’s struggle with the bottle is probably one of the most interesting things about the film and the use of drunken blackouts as a narrative device is interesting but also conjures up unpleasant memories of The Hangover 2.
Unfortunately, The Girl on the Train goes off the rails because it’s a mystery film with a mystery that’s so transparent I’m surprised the filmmaker wasn’t forced to put stickers on it to stop birds flying into it.
It’s a shame because there’s definitely the kernel of a good idea in here, but there are far too many plot holes and inconsistencies throughout that make what could have been a great Hitchcockian mystery into something closer to a late evening soap.
Without going into spoilers there was one moment that did genuinely surprised me but the more I thought about the movie, the more I realised that in terms of the film’s logic, it didn’t make much sense and most of the film’s red herrings and twists fail to perform in a similar way.
The film also handles its disjointed timeline quite poorly making it hard to follow at times.
Ultimately, I feel that The Girl on the Train fails to live up to the standards set up by 2015’s Gone Girl which, as well as being a far better adaptation of a mystery novel, has a much more satisfying and competent twist.
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.