Wednesday 8 February 2017

The Girl On The Train (15) DVD Review - Date Night Movie

Monday 6th Feb saw the release on DVD of the thriller from Entertainment One - The Girl On The Train. With a fantastic cast and more than enough passion, intrigue and action to satisfy everyone, this is a movie that is perfect to watch on Valentine's Day.

Starring Emily Blunt as the eponymous and very troubled main character, supported by Haley Bennett and Rebecca Ferguson, as well as Justin Theroux and Luke Evans, The Girl On The Train is rated 15 and is not a gentle romance at all. The suspense is held throughout, and your allegiances change as you find out more backstory, and follow the twisting plotline.

My partner and I enjoy our books and films, so we were already aware of the The Girl On The Train, although hadn't yet seen it, and neither of us had read it. We were treated to a movie night for two and sent a lovely box of goodies to make our evening special. Date night it is...

The Girl On The train is based on the best-selling novel by Paula Hawkins, which was set in the UK. The movie version is set in America, but actually at times feels very much the UK. Some of the train scenes could easily be the Manchester Metrolink. Then the camera opens to a wide shot or pans, and you are reminded quite starkly that it isn't.

Right from the start our focus is on divorcee Rachel, the 'girl on the train' who commutes to Manhattan. As she rides the train, she notes the goings on in a particular house every day, infatuated with the lives of the occupants.

The couple who live in the huge house beside the track carry on their lives unaware they face daily scrutiny. They go to work, garden, play, eat and make out, all under the watchful eye of Rachel, until one day she sees the wife embracing and being kissed by another man. She feels compelled to intervene, to let the man who lives there know that his perfect world is breaking, and this is when the movie starts to change.

This is a story that leads you one way and then the other, and there are so many secrets that it would be impossible to talk about it without giving away any of them. As soon as you feel you know the characters, you realise you don't.

In actuality we are soon aware that Rachel is really struggling, alcohol-dependent and in a downward spiral. Her behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, and blackouts mean the audience is as lost and confused as she is. There are times when nothing seems to make sense, and you do experience her panic as she refuses to believe things which may be true, the weight of not knowing crushing her self-confidence until she isn't sure who she is any more.

Emily Blunt really is superb as Rachel, and her understated acting and wide-eyed bewilderment is a perfect depiction of someone whose life has run away with them. You know she's in trouble, you are just never sure how much trouble, nor whether it is her own actions or those of others which are the biggest threat. She is shown physically spiralling, at first pristine and businesslike, and by the end dishevelled with no make up and in no position to care for how she appears.

There's plenty of backstory to The Girl On The Train, and it covers some sensitive issues. Infertility, loss, death of a child, murder, infidelity, deceit, depression, romance, love, friendship - it is all there. Every character is given a depth that isn't initially obvious, and it is all incredibly believable. Upsetting scenes tend to be related or shown in flashbacks though, and are generally brief.

The direction is very natural with slips and trips and plenty of cheek-chewing. We linger on character's faces, allowing their expressions to speak for them. It's respectful and incredibly well executed, as there wasn't a character in the film I didn't have some empathy (or sympathy) for... Well, okay there was one...

My partner and I really enjoyed The Girl On The Train. At times we are left in uncomfortable silence, and at others the action is quick and violent. It really is a great choice for Valentines Day as it suits fans of a wide range of film genres.

It's a film that will leave you with questions, many without answers. I've thought of it quite a bit over the last 24 hours, and am keen to read the book, as well as watch the movie again. I think I missed a lot first time around...

The Girl On The Train is available on Digital Download, Blu-ray and DVD! Released by Entertainment One, rated 15, runtime 112 minutes.

We were reimbursed for our time, but never for our opinion.


  1. I've read the book and not seen the film. Sounds good though xx

    1. It is very different to the book by all accounts, obviously it suffers from being time-limited. It was a really good movie, so well acted. Emily Blunt really does shine.


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