A faithful adaptation of the book that builds tension well but lacks the punch found in other recently acclaimed films
When The Girl on the Train was published in 2015, Paula Hawkins became a household name overnight. It was top of the New York Times best seller list for 13 weeks; A film adaptation was inevitable.
The film tells the story of three women whose stories intertwine when one of the women goes missing. The main character, Rachel is played by the ever wonderful Emily Blunt. Rachel is a broken woman, resorting to alcohol to help get rid of her demons. Her memories are fuzzy from the night in question, and her obsession over her ex-husband’s family mean the police soon come knocking.
The film feels very disjointed at times as we try to piece together the events that lead to the disappearance. It teases and slowly reveals to us important snippets of information. As it slowly builds towards its tense conclusion, even readers of the book were left second guessing as to whether or not it would deviate from the narrative.
The main complaint from book readers after seeing the film was the change of location from the book. For some reason the filmmakers chose to move the film across the Atlantic to New York, but it still manages to keep the heart of the book and is a decent adaptation. It has a lot of similarities with the heavily praised Gone Girl, and this can be detrimental towards the film due to the inevitable comparisons. However, Blunt puts in a staggering performance and holds it all together.
The Girl on the Train (2016), directed by Tate Taylor, is released in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray by Entertainment One. Certificate 12A.