Let us get this over with. Was The Girl on the Train total garbage or actually pretty good?
To cope with crippling depression and severe alcoholism Rachel, played by Emily Blunt, inadvertently stalks a random couple she sees from the train every day. After an incident in which she blacked out, the police approach her when the wife of the couple goes missing. Rachel takes it upon herself to investigate what happened while fighting her alcoholism.
I cannot talk about Girl on the Train without giving everything away. I was going to compare it to similar stories until I realized if you have seen the same ones, you could guess the big revelation. All I can say is when it comes to suspense the movie does an excellent job of lying to you.
The storytelling, editing, casting, and whole scenes project a false narrative that seems obvious on the outside. The trailers were the most deceptive where they made you think Girl on the Train was a terrible pandering Lifetime propaganda piece scored by Kanye West. When you actually sit down and watch it all the way through, you realize everything you thought was utterly wrong. That is the essence of suspense and the film does a masterful job.
The cornerstone of this deception is Blunt’s character. Rachel is inherently pathetic, looking as though she does not shower, red-faced, and constantly inebriated. She carries around a water bottle that you think is full of water until she fills it with vodka. The fact she snoops on a random couple while envying her ex-husband’s new life just compounds her miserable state. Because we follow her the most and see the story from her perspective, we are tricked into seeing her views as the complete antithesis of reality. She is also a rather loathsome person who hates people because they have it better and we do not like her. That is how Girl on the Train catches you in its trap.
You should just go see it. If I say anymore it would be too easy to figure out the twist. There is no better example of how to do suspense in a movie than The Girl on the Train. Not telling the audience the whole truth is one thing, but lying to them outright takes craft that is so far unmatched with this year’s releases. See it while you can.