Have you read the book by Paula Hawkins, as it turns out I have not. In fact I will always watch the movie rather than read the book, why you ask ? Well I prefer to judge a movie on it’s own merits. The human mind is great at creating visual images when you read a book, one problem that image is now seared into ones brain and will always jar with what the filmmaker puts on the screen.
On that basis the filmmakers have moved the action to America, whereas the novel was set in England. Brave decision ? We shall see …
We find Rachel ( Emily Blunt ) on her daily train commute, as she looks out the window. She spy’s what she believes to be the perfect couple. Rachel longs for this life, why ? Well had you glanced her life some years ago,you might have thought the same.
But Rachel’s life is not what you would call stable anymore, she is divorced, drinking too much and has not taken the break-up of her marriage well. If fact she has trouble remembering what has done or not done. It is through this hazy, half cobbled together series of images and drink fueled prism that we view the story.
Rachel has not split from her husband emotionally and seems to be being drawn back to him again and again, even though he has found a new women in his life. But does he actually now have the perfect life that she longed for when they were together ? At a first glance it appears so. But then Rachel has trouble stringing her memories together doesn’t she.
This comes into sharp focus when her ex-husband’s babysitter disappears. She glanced something chilling and wakes up injured with blood on her. What happened ?
Does this movie work for me, well sort of. Were it not for Rachel Blunt’s portrayal of Rachel, I think that this movie would be found lacking. It is her portrayal that keeps us engaged. While I found the story okay, I think that moving the story to America does not quite come off. We have seen this before and I think that this might be hard to distinguish from much better movies made before it. A middling review rather than a stellar one from me for this one. To borrow from a train metaphor, I think in time this movie will be parked on the sidings rather than occupy the mainline.