By Jim Tortolano
The heart of a good mystery is misdirection. If you have a pretty good grasp of who killed whom halfway through, you probably aren’t watching or reading a tale of murder most … uh … clever. But if you are stunned at the conclusion in a way that also makes – in retrospect – perfect sense, that’s the good stuff.
“The Girl on The Train” is the good stuff. Starring Emily Blunt in a nicely nuanced performance, “Train” is the story of an emotionally wounded and intoxicated ex-wife who sees too much while commuting on a train that travels past her former home.
Adapted from the novel by Paula Hawkins, this is a story of love, obsession, regret and – as in all great mysteries – things not quite being what they seem. Blunt plays Rachel, who leads a booze-addled existence in the wake of her failed marriage to Tom (Justin Theroux). His new wife, Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) has the baby that Rachel was unable to conceive. Anna hires a nanny, Megan (Haley Bennett), who abruptly quits.
Then, Megan goes missing. Rachel finds herself drawn into the investigation that follows. If this all seems a bit confusing, it is. But the script and direction will untangle this all adroitly, and you come away from seeing the movie’s conclusion saying to yourself, “Oh, yeah … that’s right!”
Pitch-perfect is Blunt as Rachel, a winning combination of anomie and grit. Haley Bennett is also impressive in her youthful eroticism, although this film probably has a bit more nudity than is necessary to carry the story.
Also worth noting is the film work by Charlotte Bruus Christensen which captures the changing moods of the film without being intrusive or self-consciously arty.
“The Girl on The Train” is rated R for violence, language, alcohol, nudity and sexuality.
Categories: Arts & Leisure