The new Fall thriller based on the novel of the same title by Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train stars Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Edgar Ramirez and delivers a compelling adaptation of the written word. Blunt is brilliant as the alcoholic and deeply troubled Rachel who watches a couple from a train on her morning commute and dreams of a better life. Blunt's performance is truly the shining star of this movie as she stumbles around in a black out trying to contact her cheating ex-husband.
Be prepared for plenty of shots of a train rolling through the woods of New York and past large houses. The couple that Rachel watches Megan and Scott Hipwell (Bennett and Evans) appear to have a wonderful life but there are much deeper griefs hidden beneath their seemingly prefect exterior. When Megan goes missing on the same night that Rachel was drunkenly stumbling in the neighborhood, an investigation initiates that changes all of their lives.
Two doors down from the Hipwells are Rachel's ex-husband Tom (Theroux) and his new wife Anna (Ferguson). They are raising their newborn daughter and trying to start over despite Rachel's incessant attempts to contact Tom. The mystery slow plays out and through flashbacks, we quickly learn that Megan was the caretaker to Tom and Anna's child and that she had issues of her own hidden deep down. Investigating the crime is Detective Riley (Allison Janney) who is skeptical of Rachel's time lapse and constant blackouts. Janney is always impressive on camera.
The movie is dark and Tate Taylor does a good job laying out the complexities of the plot and having viewers feel the struggle and paranoia of Rachel as she slowly slips into worse shape. While the twists don't have the impact they did in the chapters of the novel, the plot will still impress first-time viewers and readers alike. I enjoyed the thriller novel last year and the movie did not disappoint.
Fall movie season is really taking off with this thriller film and another drama released this weekend. The Girl on the Train probably won't stick around for Oscar season but it is the type of thriller that shines in October. Blunt's performance is remarkable and Bennett shows promise as her career takes off. Theroux is an actor I enjoy a lot in The Leftovers and plays an integral part in the plot that makes his performance eye-catching. I hope more movies like this continue to get mad and achieve success at the box office. It will be interesting to see if readers flock to the cinema after the novels huge success.