Director Tate Taylor’s (The Help, Get on Up) much anticipated film adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ mystery thriller novel was released on September 20th 2016. The film stars Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Luke Evans and Justin Theroux to name but a few, showing an extremely promising and talented cast. With the film’s solid suspense, it emulates a similar style to that of David Fincher’s recent thriller Gone Girl, providing a terrifically tense watch from start to close.
The Girl on a Train centres on a troubled, alcoholic divorcée, Rachel (Emily Blunt), who becomes obsessed with a couple whose home she sees on her daily commute. While reeling her own failed marriage, she begins to fantasise about the couple that live there and places them on a pedestal of sorts, seeing them as an idealised and perfect couple. Rachel’s alcoholic behaviour – which consists of frequently drinking herself into oblivion, waking up hung-over and remembering very little of her antics the previous night – becomes a huge problem when she awakes one day covered in blood. She then learns that a woman is missing, and this woman is none other than the lady whom she has so regularly come to fantasise about.
As anyone who has read the novel will pleasantly see, Taylor stays ever so true to the novel, something that is unfortunately not always the case with novel-to-film adaptations. Scenes and dialogue in certain scenarios have been lifted directly from book to screen, recapturing the same sense of suspense that Hawkins captures in her novel. The only notable change that was made was the location, which was changed from England to America. However, nothing in the film would make you overwhelmingly aware of its location.
The performances by each cast member are extremely strong with Emily Blunt undoubtedly stealing the show as Rachel. With her weary eyes and vacant expressions, Blunt really captures and conveys the detachment that Rachel experiences as she tries to self-medicate her pain with alcohol and translates narrator Rachel’s unreliable state in the novel to the screen quite effectively. Leanne Scott