'm the kind of girl who skips reading the book and watches the movie. But if the movie was good, I want to read the book as well. The Girl On The Train had that effect on me. Be aware of spoilers in this review.
The Girl On The Train is a thriller about a young alcoholic who's being accused of murder, but of course can't remember if she did it. The young woman called Rachel is played by Emily Blunt, whom I only knew from lighter movies such as The Devil Wears Prada and The Five Year Engagement. It was a relief to see that she can handle different stuff as well.
About the story
Rachel is a divorcee and an alcoholic who takes the train everyday, despite the fact that she doesn't have anywhere to go. It's a permanent and painful ride down memory lane, because she passes what used to be her house with her ex-husband (Tom) in it, his new wife Anna and their baby. A few houses next to them there's what seems to be another happy couple — Megan the babysit and her husband. Rachel makes up their life by what she sees on Facebook and when she passes them those few seconds. I found this to be very representative for what we all do tend to do as humans.
The whole movies has a vague, drunk atmosphere so that things often feel like a mindfuck. Basically Rachel gets into trouble by wanting to put her nose into a really dirty triangle relationship run by her ex-husband, his new wife Anna and Megan, the babysit who also sleeps with her psychiatrist. Rachel might be a drunk but she has a strong feeling for justice, so she wants to help those who are in danger and destroy those who only seem to hurt others.
From what seems to be Rachel's own memory, she treated her ex really violently. She broke into his house and held his baby. She has to make up certain parts of her memory by what other people (her ex in particular) tell her that she did during her blackouts. Her ex told her he lost her job because of one of her drunk episodes. You don't really feel sorry for her until the story starts to give you more perspective.
Rachel got addicted to alcohol due to her failed attempts to get pregnant. She's less dangerous than she thinks. Her ex didn't get fired because of her, but because he slept with everyone in the office. The alcohol tricked her into thinking she's the one who's worthless, unreliable and violent. In the end, her ex-husband emotionally manipulated her into the sad drunk she became and he's the bad guy.
I felt like the movie was a reminder about the fact that however alcohol can trick your mind into seeing and believing certain things, people often do that as well. It's a dangerous thing relying on others to fill up your own memory. Because you do, rely on others to tell the truth, but your own perception is under no circumstances to be underestimated.
I like how in the beginning she always takes a seat in backwards direction of the train, always looking at the past. In the end, she sits in the right direction, only looking forward.
Overall it's not a mindblowing thriller, but I definately enjoyed it.
Also check out the great soundtrack by Danny Elfman!