After months and months of waiting patiently, I finally got to see The Girl on The Train on the big screen. As I have said before, The Girl on the Train book changed the game for me: Before I laid eyes on this, I was convinced that the only genre for me was YA. To me, most YA novels are suited for people of any age, the stories are something that most people can relate to; it is either something they understand or something they have experienced themselves. In my experience, most adult books are not relatable (to me anyway…), they are always about some 40 year old woman going through some midlife crisis with her teenage children, or some cheesy romance novel. NO THANKS. You will have to forgive me, but that is just not my gig. The Girl on The Train opened my eyes to something beyond high school love affairs and brooding bad boys and I have never been able to look back (only partially), and I couldn’t wait to see all of the drama and sandal unfold right before my eyes. Did the movie live up to my expectations? Well, yes… and no.
First of all, I LOVED the cast! Emily Blunt is my girl and even though Haley Bennett is a bit of an unknown, I think she was the perfect person to bring Megan Hipwell to life. She was fantastic and I hope that her career continues to grow. My sister is pretty obsessed with Justin Theroux and I have to agree, the man can play a good bastard and his expressive eyebrows are EVERYTHING. He is a great actor and when I think back to the book, he was definitely Tom Watson. Luke Evans was exactly how I pictured Scott Hipwell, the whole rugged sexy blase da mountain man. He was a very good choice. The only small issue I had with the casting was with Abdic. Now, with Dr. Kamal Abdic, things get a little tricky for me. Edgar Ramirez, was a great actor and I loved when he started speaking that Spanish, but he is not how I pictured Kamal Abdic. I mean, I’m not mad, but it just wasn’t what I expected. But his demeanor and appeal was definitley there. As for Anna, I didn’t really care about her in the book and I didn’t care about her in the movie either, no offense to the actress.
When I first left the movie theater, I was kind of appalled. I mean, it was not what I has expected AT ALL. I didn’t exactly hate it, but with all of the juicy details provided by the book, it definitely wasn’t the movie I wanted. I feel like they left out a lot of very important aspects of the story, and a lot of very important character traits of the people involved. Let’s face it, in the book, all of these people were garbage. They were all liars and cheaters and in Anna’s a case, a wack ass bitch. But in the movie, they attempted to give some of these people at least a few redeeming qualities and I get it, when books are translated from paper to film, there are some changes that need to be made, and there always has to be a good guy somewhere. I just personally think, if they stayed a bit truer to the book, they wouldn’t be at 44% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’ll give you a few examples:
In the book, Kamal was one of the top three biggest bastards, coming in at a close second to good ol’ Tommy boy. His relationship with Megan was completely unprofessional. He knew that she had a lot of issues and he still had the nerve to continue an affair with her. Yes, she is a grown woman, and she even pushed for it, but as a professional, he should
know better. On top of that, not only did he rat out everything she told him about Scott to the police, he straight up told her deepest darkest secret, that she had never told to anyone but him, to the media. That is low, like beyond low. In the movie, it was as if their relationship didn’t exist. She made her advances and he always denied them, yet she still felt comfortable enough to tell him about Libby. To me, one of the most dynamic parts of the story was the fact that she was involved with all three of the men, it always made you second guess who was the actual murderer (I mean, I knew it was Tom from the minute that ape was introduced, but that is neither here nor there) and once they took away the affair with Abdic, the story kind of lost a little of that spark. That, along with excluding the sexual relationship (even if it was just once) between Scott and Rachel.
Megan’s death was very lackluster. It was disgusting and horrific, because it was a murder, but I think it could have played out better. We didn’t get to see it through her eyes, which I think was mistake. The entire story was suppose to be told from Rachel and Megan’s point of view (Anna is irrelevant as always) and I don’t think they realized the significance of us seeing Megan’s death through her own eyes, rather than just watching her be murdered. In the book, I feel like her death scene hit us harder, it was sad and unbelievable and in a way, kind of poetic, as morbid as it sounds. Us being with Megan and watching the
magpies overhead as she faded to black, was a very heartbreaking moment and I think the movie missed out on that by making it about Tom being a psycho. In the book, Megan had finally come to the realization that she wanted to be better and that she wanted to be a great mother, she was planning a better future for herself and her child and Tom took that away. If they really wanted to show what a sociopath Tom was, all they had to do was add the line, from the book, “Look what you made me do.” Just remembering him saying that to her as she bled out gives me the chills.
Eventually in the book, once Rachel hit rock bottom, she decided to make an effort not to drink as much. Obviously, she is an alcoholic and things aren’t going to be that easy so there were definitely some rough patches. But when Rachel was sober, and after she talked with Tom’s boss’ wife, she started to piece things together. She began to realize that things were not how they seemed, or how she remembered them, or how they were told to her. In the movie, she did start to piece things together, but I feel like some of what brought these flashbacks on, didn’t make the same amount of sense as they did in the book. She really didn’t seem like she was trying to quit drinking, so how does she suddenly, without a clear mind, start to remember all of these things after one conversation?
For the grand finale: The Big Reveal. This scene was just a mess. The build up in the movie, doesn’t even come close to the build up in the book. I mean, I had already guessed that Tom’s psychotic ass was the murderer, but I was still intrigued. The scene just did not pack the punch it should have. In my opinion, a lot of the drama was lost and a lot of the conflicting emotions from Anna, which was a HUGE part of that scene, was left out. Rachel begging Anna not to leave her and Tom just reassuring Anna that once he got rid of Rachel, they could live happily ever after is what made that scene so effective. The struggle between Rachel and Tom just… wasn’t there. It was like they didn’t have enough time at the end, so that just did a quick summary of events. The only thing I appreciated about that that scene was the the outcome stayed the same: Tom had a date with a corkscrew.
All in all, the movie was good. I obviously liked the story and it is something I would have happily rented from Redbox or enjoyed on Netflix. Honestly, I even I give it 4 out of 5 stars. But, when you compare it to the book, and realize how much more they could have done, I give it 3 out of 5 stars.