The world oozed excitement on hearing that Paula Hawkins’s best selling thriller novel was being adapted for a film. Anticipating the translation of words to moving pictures many have been left disappointed at Tate Taylor’s version of The Girl on the Train. Having devoured the pages of her novel myself, I must admit critics have a solid case against the motion picture gracing our cinema screens as we speak.
While I do agree it was glamorously dark, dramatic, fast paced and thrillerific, it lacked an allegiance with the book that fans expected and paid money to see. The film expresses its story on the tracks of the Hudson Line into New York city rather than the train links of London loosing its identity that so many associated with the unfurling of Rachel’s troubles. The characters all being cast as Americans disassociated the adaptation with the novel further as fans no longer recognized the characters they once knew so well.
Having said this, the viewer experience would be turned on its head, had I not read the book. The story had me gripping the edge of my seat and rather embarrassingly, gasping aloud at the very graphic murder scene which brought the work to a close. In true thriller spirit, the building of suspense coupled with a brilliantly crafted musical score by Danny Elfman, revealed Rachel’s turmoil in an excitingly dramatic roller coaster of events which forces me to praise the film despite its flaws where the novel is concerned.
Regardless of these downfalls, the casting has to be commended. Emily Blunt in the role of Rachel; a sad, lonely, broken alcoholic drowning in the memories of the marriage she once had with the manipulative Tom Watson (Justin Theroux), is fabulous and flawless. She conveys the drunkard nature of the emotion wreck perfectly. Blunt bares the soul of Rachel expertly and the performance is by all standards, Oscar worthy. If fact, all of the acting in the film is of a high standard. Each cast member gives a true and honorable performance, which in some ways makes up for the lack of the script’s commitment to the original written words.
The Girl on the Train, while a controversial release of this year, is a very interesting watch, one that I will conclude is worth the price of a cinema ticket.