Despite good performances from a cast that includes Emily Blunt, Justin Theroux and Allison Janney, director Tate Taylor’s The Girl on the Train winds up being a little too ridiculous for a movie that wishes to be taken seriously.
Blunt spends much of the movie blotto drunk as Rachel Watson, a slurring alcoholic who aimlessly rides a train to New York City every day, spying on the people living in her former house, as well as the neighbors.
Rachel is divorced from Tom (Theroux), who seemingly couldn’t take Rachel’s drinking and their inability to have a child. Tom is remarried to Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), they have a child, and they would really like Rachel to stay away. Tom and Nancy’s nanny, Megan (Haley Bennett), lives nearby with her husband, (Luke Evans). Rachel spies on them in their most intimate moments as she races by on the train, envying what she sees as the perfect young romance.
Then, Nancy sees Megan with another man—setting off an odd, drunken tailspin that results in her getting involved in the drama when Megan goes missing.
So, for starters, I’m just not down with this premise. A deliriously drunk woman is able to decipher the goings-on inside homes as she races by in a train. Yes, sometimes the train slows down, and she does know the inhabitants somewhat, but this is a highly unlikely plot gimmick that’s stretched out to unrealistic proportions. Then she gets involved with the missing woman’s husband, and eventually finds herself a target in the investigation.