Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Patchwork plot derails 'The Girl on the Train'

Published:Monday | November 7, 2016 | 11:00 AMDamian Levy
Emily Blunt is The Girl on the Train.
Luke Evans (left) and Haley Bennett in The Girl on the Train.
Luke Evans (left) and Emily Blunt in The Girl on the Train.
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The Girl On The Train is a movie based on a book that's about not judging a book by it's cover.

It tells the stories of three women, each at different stages of their lives. Rachael, the girl on the train, pines for the life of the youngest woman, Megan. Megan will do anything to escape the clutches of domestication, which is so embraced by Anna. The message then at the end of the day is that no matter what you choose to do, you'll probably be miserable.

Now, the way it was going, the movie was set to have a strong message about defying the perceived notions of what it means to be a woman and breaking free of the roles assigned to women by society. Motherhood is no longer the end be all and end all. Somewhere along the line, though, the movie's message becomes drastically muddled as it goes further down the rabbit hole of a mystery thriller as one of the three women goes missing.

So alright, it's not a revolutionary film about modern-day feminism; it's, instead, a noir thriller. But maybe it's both? Either way, you look at the case and all of its mysteries through the eyes of Rachael. She's the main witness to the crime, but there's one problem - Rachael is an alcoholic who frequently can't remember what took place the night before.

So to say she's an unreliable narrator is an understatement. Through this, the movie gives you a number of red herrings to keep you guessing about the actual culprit right along with Rachael. Bless your heart, though, if you can keep up with it. The movie has a tendency to jump back and forth through time, revealing bits and pieces about each of the women's lives that led them to where they are today. This is designed so that later when your expectations are turned on its head, you're able to gasp in shock and awe, but it's so hard to follow at times.

At the end of the movie, you and the people you watch it with are likely to get into what moments shocked you when you figured out the plot. That's what happened outside my cinema anyway. So to that end, the movie is successful, I suppose.

It's just not a movie that can't be enjoyed just as much at home.

Rating: Catch It On Cable