The book is one of the fastest selling adult novels in history with the film rights being snapped up weeks after its publication. But will the film version live up to the book's hype?
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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