The Girl on the Train


(spoiler free)

Although I’m not much of a reader to start with the fact that many films these days are the product of a best selling novel only discourages me further. Now more than ever it’s so unlikely for me to read any popular book as the inevitable movie adaptation will only be a few years round the corner. I want to know as little as possible going into these movies and as I value movies more than books I don’t want my cinema experience to be affected by already knowing the whole story. ‘The Girl on the Train’ was one of these books that everyone was talking about but I refrained from reading. Here we are a year and a half later with the film adaptation and I’m so glad I steered clear of reading the book because my lack of knowledge about it made for such a great watch.

The film boasts an impressive cast with Emily Blunt leading. Blunt is brilliant as always here and has a challenging role to undertake as alcoholic divorcee Rachel. She isn’t the most likeable character that Blunt has ever played but makes for an interesting centre point for the film and its wide array of characters. It’s another two ladies who take centre stage here with Rebecca Ferguson and Haley Bennett having the largest roles aside from Blunt. I liked their performances a lot and thought that they worked well together on screen. I got more of the buzz for Ferguson here that many got from last years ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’ and this was the first role that Bennett stood out in for me. The supporting cast is just as strong with solid performances from Luke Evans, Justin Theroux, Édgar Ramírez, Allison Janney and Lisa Kudrow. The characters were so interesting throughout the film, there were several similarities between many of them and the interconnectivity of them all was well worked and layered nicely. 

I can see why this was such a popular book as the narrative was fantastic. As each scene unfolded we learnt more and more about our characters and their histories. At first we know nothing about each of them but by the end you may feel like you are in amongst them all and the high stakes drama. It was wonderfully hard to predict what any character would do next or what direction the story would go in and you’ll truly be kept guessing until all is revealed. The only part of the narrative I wasn’t so keen on was the non-linear method of story telling . I can see how this was necessary for the film but more care needed to be taken with it as it was the cause of some slight confusion. Aside from this I had no issue with the film. Thanks to such an enthralling narrative there was also a chilling atmosphere present throughout the whole running time and especially in the finale. You could have heard a pin drop in the screening I was in and you felt like you couldn’t even crunch down your last mouthful of popcorn for fear of missing something or disturbing the killer sense of mystery, unpredictably and danger that the film was drenched in.  

‘The Girl on the Train’ IS this years ‘Gone Girl’. Fans of thrillers and mystery dramas should relish what is offered here through Paula Hawkins novel which has been brilliantly adapted for the screen by the team behind the movie. A stellar cast provide the film with engaging performances from start to finish bringing to life such an interesting array of characters who all posses an irresistible sense of unpredictability which makes for a gripping and incredibly satisfying cinematic experience. 

Rating – 9/10 

Question: What is your favourite novel to film adaptation of the last 10 years?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)

Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the movie! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.


3 thoughts on “The Girl on the Train

  1. I’m so happy to see a positive review of this, because most others have been very ‘meh’ and I’ve been looking forward to seeing it! The book has that non-linear path too and confused me still. It’s almost written diary style from the 3 leading ladies views, with a date stamp for each chapter, but I kept forgetting what the dates of other chapters were. Great review!
    – Allie

    • I hope that some others will enjoy it too as I’m kind of baffled by all of the hate for it. I don’t mind that method of storytelling but it just wasn’t done clearly enough. A really minor flaw though in an otherwise very entertaining movie! Let me know what you think of the movie when you see it!

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