Thoughts on “The Girl on the Train”

by weslar


The Girl on the Train revolves around the months leading up to Megan (Haley Bennett) murder. The story forms it’s pacing through interactions between Rachel (Emily Blunt) and her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux). Her desperation to keep in touch and him distancing himself further. Tom’s wife Anna (Rebecca Fergusson) fears for her baby’s safety around Rachel, Rachel has a habit of showing up uninvited, pestering the family, usually drunk.

The film goes back and forth between Rachel, Megan, Anna & Tom revealing new clews and new elements to chew over whilst you work out who had the right motive and who is guilty enough, all while keeping an open perspective to work out people who can be singled out or not.

The purpose of the “Months ago” structure plays in the narratives favour, working in new details to fill in gaps, as though our experience mirrors Rachel’s. Her drunken escapades leave her memory blank, and her awakening the following morning being that of concern of the night before.

Her frivolous nature defines her struggle, a women so distraught that she can’t stay away, her worth to anyone is nil. Throughout she, as we do, becomes more and more focused and driven for a resolution that will be pushed out through touch-and-remember moments, as the memories return by being near places of interest.

Although the film from a subjective perspective is full of mystery and intriguing character developments, there’s nothing more dulling than the finale. The reveal of the big bad, the question on your mind throughout being unveiled.

I suppose that’s the point, the full-stop to the narrative is this reveal – the film handles it well – not too shocking, but it does unfold well during the films runtime.

The neat packaging of story reveals is also a great way to wrap up many of the stories plot elements, the film does so by having moments happen at the start and happen again in the end. A gesture that not only the main thread is stitched together but that characters become more understood by the time the credits role, that they’re lives and digressions are all apart of their character.

The Girl on the Train is addictive and I rarely dislike many thrillers so it’s not a surprise I enjoyed the films mystery, and the characters that inhabit the world we are presented with.