The book outsold the mighty 50 Shades franchise and even Gone Girl due to its fast paced story line about a drunken divorcee, Rachel Watson, who becomes unhealthily obsessed with a young couple whose house she passes each morning on the train to work. The film is a plausible take on the book – it’s fast paced, well-acted and not without several jump-out-of-your seat moments. Buuut for me, someone who has read the book and loved it, I was too distracted by the differences to work out if it was really good.
There’s the setting. The book was based in London and the suburbs; the film is in Westchester County and Manhattan, USA. This location change was to appeal to the larger American audience. Whilst it doesn’t not work, I don’t know why they decided this was important; after all, Americans watch British films, right?! And London is a naturally bleaker setting, which better suits the narrative of the film.
Then there’s Emily Blunt as Rachel. Blunt, it must be said, is a very good, talented actress. She’s also very beautiful, very slim and worked-out. Whilst she plays a pretty good drunk, she’s nowhere near the book version of Rachel, who had recklessly let herself go in every sense. When I read the book, I imaged Rachel to look almost homeless, so wrecked was her self-esteem. Blunt just looked like she had a bad cold, which was kinda disappointing.
But it’s not a bad film. My two friends hadn’t read the book and loved it. So perhaps the moral is, if you are a fan of the book, you might not be of the film, whilst non-readers will think it’s great. A nice surprise was Justin Theroux (Mr. Jennifer Aniston) as Rachel’s ex-husband Tom, a charming yet twisted character. He’s the best thing in the film and does ‘dark’ very convincingly (plus he's fit.) It’s just a shame he’s got an American accent.
The Girl On The Train is due out in cinemas on October 7th, 2016.
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