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Arts and Entertainment Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 2 years ago

Film review: 'The Girl on the Train'

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'The Girl on the Train' is a tangled web of deceit.

Secrets and lies lurk just beneath the surface throughout "The Girl on the Train." But beware, your train of thought will be derailed at every juncture in this slow-burning thriller.

Emily Blunt plays Rachel, a young woman who's in a severe state of unraveling. She's lost her job, her husband, her home and her sanity is next on the list. Each day, she takes the train into and out of Manhattan. En route, Rachel has become obsessed with what she perceives to be the perfect couple as the train rolls by their house. Coincidentally, they live just down the street from her ex-husband (Justin Theroux), his new wife (Rebecca Ferguson) and their baby. 

Her daily commute to nowhere is infused with heavy drinking. As she drunkenly stalks her ex, Rachel witnesses perfect-couple wife, Megan (Haley Bennett), cheating on hubby (Luke Evans) with — get this — Megan's shrink ( Edgar Ramirez). What little glue left holding Rachel's psyche together, disintegrates.

Blackouts are a common occurrence in Rachel's dismal life. When married, her husband would recount her outrageous behavior once she became sober. The violent outbursts he described didn't ring true to Rachel. She could never imagine behaving so destructively. The morning after the insidious infidelity, Rachel wakes up covered in blood with no recollection of what happened the previous night. And, news flash — Megan is missing.

Director Tate Taylor has crafted an intricate whodunit that is primarily character driven. As he peels away the layers of deceit that each individual harbors, the story twists and turn like a rickety roller coaster. But there's a notable lack of tension and troublesome timelines that detract from making the film the nail-biter it might have been. 

Emily Blunt's performance as a damaged, self-loathing, childless and frightened woman is exceptional (Oscar-esque). The manner in which she portrays Rachel's agony is heartfelt and what draws you into the film.

A quote by Sir Walter Scott perhaps best describes "The Girl on the Train."

"Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

No one escapes entanglement in this dark piece of storytelling. 

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