The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train (2016) Director: Tate Taylor

Film poster with the tagline, "whappt you see can hurt you"


The Girl on the Train is an overall well-constructed, albeit disturbing film about the disorienting nature of psychological abuse. In some ways it is reminiscent of Gaslight (1944). Its many twists and turns lead the audience to point the finger at various characters throughout the movie, until vengeance is brutally exacted in the end. Emily Blunt delivers a complex and definitive performance. Otherwise, the film is a bit forgettable and filled with all manner of plot-holes.

Emily Blunt plays Rachel, an alcoholic divorcee who rides the train every day past her ex-husband’s home with his new wife. He had cheated on Rachel and married his new lover because Rachel was infertile. The story-telling of the film is confused and blurred at times, and soon we find out about a murder. Rachel is the prime suspect. However, a series of psychological events unfolds in which it is revealed that her ex-husband’s philandering led him to impregnate a woman and then kill her in the woods. He has been gaslighting Rachel about it this whole time, making her feel terrible about herself and causing her to descend into alcoholism. In triumphant revenge, Rachel and his new wife attack him, and Rachel delivers the final blow with a corkscrew (as a nod to her alcoholism).

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