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Review: The Girl on the Train

Going Out

WITNESS? Emily Blunt stars in ‘The Girl on a Train’.

Ciara Galvin

‘HELL hath no fury like a woman scorned’. The oft-quoted line is actually not accurate.  The quotation from William Congreve’s play ‘The Mourning Bride’ reads, “Heav’n has no rage like love to hatred turn’d / Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d.”
Rachel (Emily Blunt) is in a sense a ‘mourning bride’ in 2016’s most-anticipated thriller The Girl on the Train. Reeling from a broken marriage and spiralling into a hole of alcoholism as a result, Rachel is struggling to come to terms with her ex’s new life and new family.
The film adaptation from British author Paula Hawkins’s psychological thriller was always going to be highly anticipated considering the book’s success, and it was a no brainer for Hollywood to snap it up as the latest Gone Girl type thriller.
However, The Girl on the Train is an intriguing psychological thriller that is grittier than the film adaptation of Gone Girl. Still, it’s hard to talk about one without referring to the other, as both have similar themes of cheating, lies, mortality and revenge.
Revenge: Here’s where the opening lines will start to make sense. Throughout, poor jilted Rachel is presented to the audience as an alcoholic who was the creator of her own misfortune. A mad woman seeking revenge as some sense of closure. Incessant phone calls to her ex and the events that follow make her out to be a woman out of control. ‘Hell hath no fury’, etc.
Emily Blunt puts in a very strong performance as Rachel. Blunt’s appearance with burst capillaries and blotchy complexion only adds to the realness of poor Rachel. The fresh faced Anna is a stark comparison. Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) is the very understanding once mistress, now wife of Tom (Justin Theroux). Tom is Rachel’s likeable ex husband, who was faced with no choice but to end the marriage due to Rachel’s issues with alcohol.
The plot – the disappearance of melancholic Megan (Haley Bennet) – and sub plots were at times confusing, but more welcome than the predictability of Gone Girl.
The film has a real feel of ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’ meets ‘Single White Female’. Perhaps the movie doesn’t do the book justice, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Rating: 7 out of 10