Books that revolve around a big twist towards the end don’t translate as effectively into films, it seems, because you can obscure the twist much more effectively in a novel. Twist endings in films work more effectively because they can’t be obscured as effectively as they do in a novel; you only have so much time and energy, therefore a film twist has to seemingly come out of nowhere to genuinely be effective. Darth Vader being Anakin Skywalker worked in The Empire Strikes Back because there was no hint beforehand that it was going to happen. The twist ending to The Girl on the Train works in the novel because we have time to marinate in the world. We don’t have enough
Rebecca (Emily Blunt) is an alcoholic who’s drinking problem effectively ended her marriage. Every day she goes to work on the train, as well, and goes past her old neighborhood. Her ex-husband has remarried, of course, and the couple next to them seem to have a picture-perfect life. All of this is something Rebecca sees every day as she passes them as she goes to work and eventually she sees something that ruins her picture of this.
One day, fueled by booze, she decides she’s going to confront the woman (Haley Bennett) screwing up this idyllic life that Rebecca sees from afar. When she blacks out from her boozing, and the woman winds up missing, she’s the prime suspect in the case.
The film’s problem, and something the book was able to get away with, is that we’re able to spot the twist coming fairly easily coming in. Otherwise it’s a fairly pedestrian mystery thriller that hinges on a twist that’s easily spotted. It’s a solid film, definitely worth viewing, but it’s not a must watch either.
A handful of EPK pieces but nothing major.
Universal presents The Girl on the Train. Directed by Tate Taylor. Written by Erin Cressida Wilson based on “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins. Starring Emily Blunt, Lisa Kudrow, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans. Run Time: 112 minutes. Rated R. Released on 1.17.17