Drama, it’s a category that sells like hotcakes in the entertainment field. Soap operas have been abusing this genre for years, and this weekend another big budget blockbuster will attempt to capitalize on affairs and deceit. I’m talking about Girl on a Train, another book turned movie that looks to be a mirror of Gone Girl from a few years past. Does this movie hold true potential for suspense, or is it just old hat tricks? Robbie K here, hoping to provide some insight into those questions.
- Wonderful Cast
- Delivers promised drama
- A decent mystery
This film’s ensemble certainly deserves credit for bringing the tale to life. Emily Blunt leads the team off playing a part that was both emotional and complex. Blunt can portray pain well, bringing suffering out of the screen in a believable performance that seldom crosses into overacting territory. Her emotions are in good balance, fluidly transitioning between each mood to capture the crazy edge required by her character. Haley Bennett has less emotion to cover, but portrays depression quite realistically in terms of emotional bluntness seen in the disorder. As for Rebecca Ferguson, the third leading lady must have a jealous house wife inside of her, for she nails the distrustful nature down to the letter. While these ladies take center stage, the rest of the cast do justice to their roles and create a world fitting of the mystery thriller story. Speaking of story…
Girl on a train is a tale that is filled with promised drama and mystery, perfect components for a suspense/thriller. Our three…”heroines” for lack of a better world, weave complicated relationships within the city. Some are good and some are bad, but all are dramatic and over the top to hook you into the characters’ lives. While I normally am annoyed by characters inability to let things go, this approach works for this film as it led to important character development while shedding light on the mystery at hand. As for the suspenseful mystery, it’s not the most unique puzzle to grace the silver screen. However, it is one with many layers and depth that require you to pay attention in order to uncover the truth behind the alibis. it. Such depth added to the suspense and kept into the movie as I waited to find the light at the end of the dark tunnel.
- Predictable ending
- Convoluted presentation
- Pointless scenes
- Characters dropped at points
Having a mystery with many levels makes for a grasping tale, but sometimes getting too creative can be an issue. Girl on a train’s presentation is a bit convoluted, as the tale integrates past with present via a series of intertwining. I’ll admit it was an original presentation, but the flashbacks offset the momentum of the ship and sometimes transitioned back into the film so well you might have not realized you were back in the present. The result can be quite confusing and should you turn your attention away for a second, or go to the bathroom, you might become a bit lost. Fortunately, the ending is nicely wrapped up for you, but the rather predictable conclusion doesn’t make this complicated presentation worth the trouble.
Another dislike comes in the form of unnecessary scenes, primarily the ones involving sex. Call me whatever you want, but seeing forceful sex imposed on women, or seeing women seemingly bored with the art of making lust, does not make a good movie friends. I get it, sex sells as made evident by many films, and I will admit some major clues are dropped in these heated moments. Doesn’t mean I need to be drowned in all the naked, groaning details in such a short time span. Needless to say, the film earns its R rating for something other than cussing and violence.
Finally, some of the characters I feel got stiffed in this film. The trailers built up so many characters, but unfortunately they failed to deliver on some of them outside of dropping some key information before fading into the shadows. This hurt the movie in two ways. The first is these supposedly spooky characters fizzled out, weakening the suspense of the film and making for boring characters. Second by doing this, the mystery becomes much easier to solve and further sacrifices the thrilling “surprise” at the end. Don’t worry though, you’ll still get that drama you so crave, even if you can get the answer in thirty minutes.
Girl on a train certainly feels like a Gone Girl wannabe in terms of its dramatic atmosphere and complicated storytelling. Yet it still lacks some of the things that made its predecessor so good, including better editing, more suspenseful characters, and not having flashbacks run interference. Still it provides a good mystery to open the month up with the relationships many will sink their teeth into. Is it worth a trip to the theater? I can’t say it is, but check this one out at home when you get the chance.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6