The Girl On The Train wants to be Gone Girl 2: Gone harder so much it hurts.
Like its predecessor, this film is based on a novel that was a worldwide smash- in fact, The Girl On The Train is the fastest selling adult novel of all time. Annoyingly though Train has been relocated from London to the US for the film version, its cast are giving powerful performances, the tone is somber and bleak with unreliable narrators, flashbacks and a series of alternate takes on events are constantly happening and yet….
It just doesn’t work.
Not on any level is this the compelling thriller that it wants to be. Not on any level is it compelling. This is a dull, depressing film in which every moment of levity or black humor or even a single solitary smile has been stripped out with almost surgical precision. And the dialogue is off. It sounds not like natural speech but dialogue meaning that we never understand, like or even care about any of the characters.
The film fails on smaller levels as well. We learn that several characters are unemployed but no-body seems to have any money worries in any way shape or form.
And the camerawork, oh boy the camerawork in this film. I am aware that Emily Blunt is a talented actress even though the sole direction she seems to have been given was “look like your on the verge of but not quite ready to break out into tears.” I seriously hope that there were plenty of water bottles on set. But the cameraman seems less interested in capturing the performance than in seeing the mysteries of the universe via everyone’s nose. Seriously, the zoom out button is your friend.
The plots simple enough, Hayley Bennet (who is allegedly NOT a clone of Jennifer Laurence) vanishes and an alcoholic decides to solve the case. Simple enough, and this film could have worked as a tense thriller. It was so close but it just went the line and succeeded in making my audience laugh more at this than at some comedies I’ve seen!
Oh, and for THE TWIST to make sense, we need to have seen the clues before hand so that it make sense. It should not invoke the audience response of “I guess that could work”
Zoom the camera out slightly, put in a joke or two, get Emily Blunt a tissue for the love of Zhoul lighten up a bit and you’ll have started to put things right. As is? Skip and re-watch Gone Girl. similar idea but done so much better. Just don’t watch either on a first date
My Score- Poor