The Girl on the Train

If you’re up for a good laugh and can’t get enough hysterical women, this movie is the laff riot / searing drama of the season. It’s silly, fun, and pulpy as hell. It’s very much like Gone Girl, only instead of thinking you’re getting a serious movie and being handed highbrow pulp, here you know you’re getting pulp—only not knowing how pulpy it’ll be.

Emily Blunt is this woman who travels by train past these two bourgie upstate NY houses on her way to Manhattan every day. She starts to spy on the people there—the entire movie could not happen without the contrivance that the train slows to a stop, for no explained reason, right in front of the houses—and take an inordinate interest in them. Soon we find out that she used to live in one of the houses, and be married to a guy who still lives there. Oh, and she’s alcoholic. And prone to violent outbursts. And making really bad decisions. She’s a one-woman bender and if you get amusement from women violently flaming out through alcohol, this one takes that and then adds a lot of real estate porn, bourgeois lifestyles, twist after ludicrous twist, and a murder, among other things [like pretending to be employed, gaslighting, baby-snatching, baby drowning in bath due to inattentive mother, psychologist seduction, impersonation of therapy patient, violent sexy men, and egregious corkscrew violence.

It’s only a bit disappointing that, after building up a fascinating unhinged character who may or may not have done some very bad things, and leading us down to road to believe we might get some very shaded female characters who might be not quite 100% wronged angels, they turn into 100% wronged angels in the MOST conventional, straight up, empowering chick-lit way, because although we cannot have a woman onscreen who is not empowered and deep-down a moral paragon and wonderful person, it’s perfectly fine to portray all men as evil, abusive rapists, because, like, HELLO. It cleans everything up to the point where it becomes a betrayal of everything that has come before, but you do get quite a bit of good, hilarious, trashy pulp right up until then.

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One thought on “The Girl on the Train

  1. So the movie paradoxically achieves the two clichés about men being evil AND how ill-advised it is for young women to be single, as they’re sure to spire down into addiction and erratic, immoral behaviour!

    Like

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