A Beginner’s Guide To The Girl On The Train

All you need to know before The Girl On The Train hits cinemas tomorrow.

What is it?
Really? That’s your first question? You’d think that title would tell you everything you needed to know: it’s a girl on a train.

I hate you so much.
Okay, I’m sorry. This is the film adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ 2015 novel, The Girl on the Train.

2015? They didn’t waste any time making it into a movie.
No, they did not. Unsurprising, considering it debuted at no.1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and stayed there for 13 consecutive weeks. People were calling it the new Gone Girl.

Is it the new Gone Girl?
I haven’t read it myself but the author doesn’t seem to think so. In an interview with The Guardian she said:

 “I think people draw parallels because you’ve got an unlikable or difficult female protagonist, the breakdown of a marriage and a missing woman, and also the unreliable narrator.”

What’s it about?
Do you really want me to say it again?

I swear to-
Fine, fine: a real answer. Here’s what I know about the plot…

On her morning commute, the train always stops at the same signal and Rachel starts to become obsessed with the couple whose garden backs on to the train tracks. They have – in her fantasy – a perfect life, while Rachel is being sucked under by alcoholism and the heartbreak of her failed marriage. But then she is shocked by something she sees in their garden one day and when, shortly afterwards, the woman goes missing, Rachel becomes entangled in their lives for real – only it’s complicated by the fact that she suffers from blackouts and memory loss, and is such a mess that nobody (the police, the woman’s husband, herself even) can trust her.

It sounds interesting: anybody that I like starring in it?
It’s likely considering the star level in this movie: Emily Blunt, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Rebecca Ferguson, Lisa Kudrow, Laura Prepon, and the list goes on and on and on. In case you were wondering, it was also directed by Tate Taylor (The Help) and written by Erin Cressida Wilson (Chloe).

Final question: is it any good?
That’s tricky. I’m still excited about this movie but the initial reviews haven’t been great. In fact, you could describe them as poor. Critics have called it one-dimensional and Gone Girl comparisons have been made again but not in a good way (at least not good for The Girl on the Train).

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