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The Girl on the Train

Where does your mind go on your morning commute? (Spoiler Free Review)

The Girl on the Train

Tue 4 Oct 2016
Where does your mind go on your morning commute? (Spoiler Free Review)
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What goes through your mind during your daily commute?

Walking into the cinema...

Can it match the paranoia and suspense of the hit mystery novel from Paula Hawkins?

Russelling Reviews: 3.5 stars

Cinematic rating: 4 stars

Reel Dialogue rating: 3 stars

Sometimes a good mystery novel soothes the soul, but when it is played out in the life of Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) it proves to be an overwhelming enigma. After her divorce, life becomes a continual journey on the commuter train to Manhattan. During her daily venture into the city, she daydreams of the lives of the people she sees in the houses along the train line. Their lives play out in her head to the point where she feels she knows the residents. Rachel idealises the life of one of the woman she observes and idealises her marriage. One day she sees this woman in the arms of another man on the balcony of the house. Combined with the turmoil in her own life, this sign of infidelity causes her voyeuristic world to implode. She loses control of her mental capacities, succumbs to her alcoholic tendencies, has a wild night on the town and when she wakes up the next day, Rachel is covered with blood and bruises. Soon after the mystery begins to unfold, television reports begin to come out about the woman from the house, Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett) and her disappearance. This leads Rachel down the confronting path of retracing her steps to find out what happened during the time she blacked out and if she was involved in Megan's disappearance.

Emily Blunt continues to prove her acting range by effectively bringing an believable level of vulnerability and strength to the conflicted lead character. She shows her ability to move between comedies to musicals to being the focal point of a dramatic mystery. In this Paula Hawkins tale, the British actress is complemented by an outstanding talents of Rebecca Ferguson, Luke Evans, and Justin Theroux, but she is almost outshone by Haley Bennett and Allison Janney. The relative new comer, Bennett, effectively works the fine line between sex appeal and put upon victim through this performance. While Janney provides a master class in taking over ever scene when she enters on the screen. Even with all of the outstanding performances, director Tate Taylor (The Help) weaves all of these performances together for a fabulously twisted thriller. Due to the infidelity content and criminal themes, this is a film for mature audiences only.

Paula Hawkins' twisted novel of disappearance and substance abuse is one part Fatal Attraction, one part Gone Girl with a touch of Rear Window added in for good measure. Her character development and knack for suspense are fascinating, but disjointedly brought to the big screen by screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson. The Girl on the Train storyline is moved from London to New York, but this does not detract from this Hitchcock-like domestic suspense thriller. Hawkins' mystery taps into the inner-voyeur of the human experience that thinks that we can know everything about someone by seeing their external veneer. This is depicted exceptionally well on screen, but the brilliance of the script is that it plays on the preconceived notions of the viewing audience. Just like it gets into the heads of the on-screen characters, it does the same to the audience who will open one door for answers without considering that the answer is behind another door. This psychological twist is combined with Taylor's ability to hold the tension at fever pitch long enough to keep audiences wondering what happens until the final minutes.

REEL DIALOGUE: What are some of the bigger questions to consider from this film?

Even though The Girl on the Train is a murder mystery it could lead to many discussions about the sanctity of marriage. Similar to the film, the Bible contains stories of marriage, murder, infidelity, but thankfully God provides solace and answers to these traumatic events in the lives of people through his words. To know what God thinks of marriage does not have to be a mystery. Look through the passages and ask more questions.

Passages on defining marriage and infidelity:

Proverbs 6:25, Matthew 5:8, 1 Corinthians 6:18, Hebrews 13:4,

Written by Russell Matthews based on a five star rating system @ Russelling Reviews #russellingrevs #emilyblunt #thegirlonthetrain

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