Adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train follows Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) who in the aftermath of her divorce is currently homeless, jobless and an alcoholic. In order to hide the lack of job from her friend Cathy (Laura Prepon) Rachel takes the train into New York everyday – the train that passes her old house where her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux) still lives with his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) and baby. In order to distract herself from this house Rachel starts focusing on the couple who live a few doors down – Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan (Haley Bennett). She starts fantasising about their wonderful and happy life but one morning Rachel sees something in that house that fills her with rage. The next day she wakes up hungover, bleeding and with no recollection of the events of the night before, so when Megan is reported missing Rachel must work out what really happened that night.
I am a huge fan of the novel, it had me hooked from the beginning so I was very excited to see it brought to the big screen. It was a little annoying that they took the British setting from the novel and moved it to America for the film but actually it does still work. Another reason I was excited for the film was the cast. Emily Blunt is an incredible actress and a favourite of mine and she is outstanding in her role as Rachel. She really brings out the vulnerability in her character as she struggles to start her life again after her divorce. Emily is also very good at playing drunk and hungover as her character spends the majority of the film in one of the two states! The make-up team did very well in bringing out these looks particularly as there are an awful lot of extreme close-ups throughout the film.
Part of what makes the novel so thrilling is that each chapter jumps through time and perspective. As well as Rachel’s point of view we are taken into the heads of Megan and Anna. These different takes on what is happening mean that you aren’t sure which woman is telling the truth and so deepening the mystery. I was very pleased to see that the film stays with this, the first twenty minutes in particular is purely to set up each of the three women with black screens and their name before their turn. This doesn’t continue for the whole film but after the first few switches it’s clear to see which woman you are now following.
Haley Bennett is great as Megan, her character is clearly a lost and restless soul and we find out a lot about her through her therapy sessions with Dr. Abdic (Edgar Ramirez). It took me a while to realise where I knew Haley from but eventually I worked out it was as hippy Pop star Cora Corman in Music and Lyrics. This role is very different from Cora and definitely a lot more grown up – there are quite a few sex scenes! Rebecca Ferguson is also brilliant as Anna, she’s finally got her man and baby but has to put up with the constant phone calls and disturbing drunken acts from the ex-wife. Another brilliant actress in the film is Allison Janney as Detective Riley who is leading the investigation into Megan’s disappearance, and the small appearances from Laura Prepon and Lisa Kudrow only boost the star quality. It’s great to have such a strong female cast but the men involved hold their own too. Justin Theroux and Luke Evans both give very convincing portrayals as their lives are thrown into disarray by the three women.
Overall I loved The Girl on the Train! Even though I knew the ending already it didn’t stop me from being gripped throughout. There are so many twists and turns along the way and at no point is it obvious as to what happened to Megan. It does get a little graphic towards the end though so if you’re squeamish maybe close your eyes for a few minutes! Emily Blunt really is outstanding in this role she completely makes this film and is supported by a fantastic cast. I would thoroughly recommend you go and see this film, it’s a very thrilling watch!