The Girl on the Train - Perfect for Fans of "Gone Girl"

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The Girl on the Train

Last night, I committed a cardinal sin. 

I watched the movie without having read the book first. 

I know, I know. After years of shaming Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Hunger Games fans who said they didn't need to read the books because they saw the movies, I became a culprit. Although I still might check out the book because I really enjoyed the story. 

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is a thriller of GONE GIRL proportions. The story focuses on three women:

Alcoholic Rachel (Emily Blunt, who pulls off a fantastic performance) lost her job and her husband due to her addiction, her infertility, and her constant blackouts during which she becomes violent. Now, with her life screwed up and no direction, she takes the train past her old home everyday, where her ex, Tom, lives with his new wife, Anna. While she considers this behavior just passing the time, she's reached the point of borderline stalking them. Rachel's also become obsessed with a beautiful young woman named Megan who lives a few homes down from Tom and Anna; despite having never met Megan in person, Rachel has watched her from afar and envied her "perfect" life.

Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) is tired of her husband's ex wife stalking them, calling them, and showing up at their house drunk. While once "the other woman," Anna has become Tom's wife, and doesn't appreciate Rachel's inability to let go. She fills her days with shopping and being a stay at home mom for her baby daughter. 

Megan (Haley Bennett) - the beautiful young woman who has become the object of Rachel's obsession - works as a nanny for Anna and Tom. From the outside, she has a perfect life; but in reality, she's developing feelings for her psychiatrist, she hates nannying, and her controlling husband keeps pressuring her to get pregnant and start a family. 

One day, Rachel is drunk on the train when she passes Megan's house. She sees Megan making out with a man on her porch - only, the man isn't Megan's husband. This infuriates Rachel, because she believes this stranger is ruining her perfect life with infidelity - the way Tom ruined hers. That night, Rachel gets extremely intoxicated and stalks Megan into a train tunnel, where she blacks out. Rachel wakes up covered in blood, with no recollection of the night before - and now, Megan is missing. 

Police don't know what happened, and the more Rachel tries to help, the more she incriminates herself. But the truth is, without an alibi, Rachel isn't even sure if she can trust her own words. She needs to learn what happened that night in the tunnel, once and for all. 

This story encompasses many themes I love in thrillers: unreliable narrators, a cast of morally gray characters, and family secrets. Every character has something shady going on and no one is 100% "likeable" or trustworthy. The main heroine Rachel is flawed and makes a lot of mistakes. With the present-past alternating timelines and the twisty plot, the GONE GIRL comparisons are spot on. I didn't see the twist coming and when it happened my jaw dropped. 

Going off of that, I'm loving this new wave of psychological thrillers featuring badass and complex women. I'm a little tired of the classic disgruntled-male-detective protagonist, and this is a refreshing change. 

I haven't read the book, so I can't comment on similarities/differences, but whether or not you've read THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, I highly recommend checking out this movie! 

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0