The Girl On the Train on the surface looks like a well done, empowering, female led thriller. However it succumbs to the awful misogynistic ideal that men essentially control women. Having said this, it really puts a damper on the outcome of the film in its entirety.
The moment this film began I was immediately turned off by the black screen giving me the name of the woman we would get to know. This black screen then appeared 10 more times after that, giving us names and dates in order to assemble the narrative together. Thrillers have to be perfectly crafted, they have to be able to peel back layers and show the audience rather than tell the audience what is happening or what has happened. It has to be the perfect mixture of suspense and mystery in order for the pieces to fit perfectly together and unravel the truth. This film was disjointed and I did not care for a single character in this film.
It is hard to sit through a film in this genre and not care about the protagonist because
A) they appear normal but are mentally unstable B) they are dragged into a situation they want nothing to do with or
C) they are usually narrating their own problematic story.
(Yes, this is a reference to Gone Girl)
The protagonist is always intriguing because of these tropes and Emily Blunt’s character of Rachel carried these out horribly. I found no interest in her whatsoever, the dialogue was bland, I didn’t find her gawking at people in their houses effective at all. The entire filmed seemed forced and a thriller should always have a flow to it. A thriller should always have an eerie atmosphere, but maybe I have seen too many of Fincher’s films to actually appreciate other thrillers.
It annoyed me that the film was based on three relationships that all revolved around pregnancy. Showing that women must get pregnant and have children and if women are not capable they turn into these monsters, even worse this had a man who turned his woman into a monster. That women are defined by motherhood or being a whore. There is no in between apparently in this film. This was not empowering. This was women hating each other, this was women being stereotyped, this is not a step forward at all. I have never been this angry at a film in its execution and storyline in my life.
Emily Blunt was amazing as usual but the rest of the movie did not do her performance justice. It was just a mess. I almost started clapping when I saw Allison Janney, Laura Prepon and Lisa Kudrow because they actually saved me, to be quite honest.
All I can really say is that this is the complete opposite version of Gone Girl. This film tried so hard to be unique and compete with the same feminist narrative, that it failed. They even attempted to bookend the film the same way Fincher did for Gone Girl. I am disappointed and angry. This a poor mans version of Gone Girl. The entire time I sat there and said I could have been watching Gone Girl for the fiftieth time instead.