Is gazing dangerous? (The Girl on the Train movie review)

Rachel (Emily Blunt) seems to be a pretty normal woman – every morning she catches a train to her work and enjoys window views. Unfortunately her normality is just a fragile impression – it turns out that she is obsessed with one particular element of the panorama – she fantasises about perfect life of a blond girl, who seems to be a happy wife and mother. The director, Tate Taylor, slowly reveals more and more details about her characters. The tension of this movie is composed of fragments that are supposed to play with our perception. Taylor uses the dialectics of reality and imagination. Firstly we observe the story from the perspective of random passerby who constructs stories about passing people, later – we have to collide our ideas with the real narration of “The Girl on the Train”.  The creative use of the differences between externals and reality is the most interesting part of Taylor’s movie.

Taylor has based her movie on a bestseller – those who don’t know the book will enjoy the plot twists and unobvious relations between the characters; unfortunately those who read the book before won’t have this much fun. The director’s method seems to low on, which is not surprising – you cannot base the entire movie on one trick. “The Girl on the Train” is a film that could be described as a candle on the very tasty cake (cake – of course – is a Paula Hawkins’s book). A freshly lit candle is very spectacular and climatic, but it quickly loses its charm and goes out. What’s worse, if you don’t pull it out on time, wax will start to drip on the cream and ruin the taste of the most sublime layer. The burnt Taylor’s candle stays in the cake till the very end and distorts the taste of filing and chocolate.

Emily Blunt in the role of the protagonist saves the movie from a total disaster. Her growing up confusion and frustration is radiating and thrilling at the same time. The actress highlights the drama of a person that is not sure of the boundaries between nightmare and reality. Rachel is a very interesting portrait of a victim that is not aware of her status. Justin Theroux as Tom, Rachel’s ex-husband, also creates an interesting character. He plays a monster under a cover of indulgence and leniency. His brutality is truly scary because it’s hidden in a very pretty package. The relation between Tom and Rachel points out the quaintest motive of “The Girl from the Train” – a social construct of insanity. We used to find madness in obvious visual symptoms and we forgetting that it doesn’t have to be a synonym of a lost control.