Movie Review: The Girl On The Train
Star Rating (out of 5): **
When Paula Hawkins’ novel THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN came out last year, it had three major things going for it: a stunning main character, a fiendishly well-crafted murder mystery plot, and the word “Girl” in the title. Not kidding! Ask any publisher. Of course Hollywood took on the book. I mean, with a bestseller like that and the magnificent Emily Blunt, what could possibly go wrong? A lot, it turns out.
Let’s start on a positive note, as we like to here at Silber Screen. Emily Blunt is hands down one of the great leading ladies of our time. She does what she can with the material. And that’s a lot, despite the overuse of smudged eyeliner to emphasize her messy life status. If you enjoy watching a great performance, you’ll get your money’s worth.
Oh my… where do I start? Somehow this adaptation manages to turn a perfect suspense plot with compelling characters into a fractured, drawn-out, wordy ordeal. Moving the action from England to New York, director Tate Taylor constantly seems to be cutting away when things get exciting, and giving us more blabla instead. His film is surprisingly uncinematic and boring. Instead of following the riveting mystery, he gets lost in long sequences who find themselves way more deep and emotional than they are. It’s like he’s telling the viewers, “Hey, if you want to know what happened, read the novel.”
THE GIRL ON A TRAIN is – sorry – a train wreck of a movie. Any success it may achieve will be owed to Emily Blunt’s impressive star power and the 15-million-copies-sold bestseller status of its source material.
Review by SAM SILBER