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Movie Review

'The Girl on the Train' is More Admirable Than Likeable


The Girl on the Train is one of those movies you admire more than you really like; you even rather admire yourself for going to see it when so many things would be more relaxing.

Those who have experience with too much alcohol may find its core situation a little too close to reality, and a lot of people may wish for somebody really likeable to root for; the story isn't easy to follow and the characters aren't very enjoyable company. But it's all too convincing to set aside, even after it's all over and you can go home.

Emily Blunt, in a role that could produce an Oscar nomination, had her usual too-much to drink last Friday and can't remember more than splinters and flashes of what happened. But she has a feeling it was awful and she was responsible. Her good friend Megan has gone missing and Blunt herself woke up in a strange place with a good deal of blood. The plot, what there is of it, is about her irresistible but fear-filled attempt to find out the facts. But her investigation is interrupted by flashbacks and memories and fearful possibilities and a lot of internal action; there are too many interruptions for us to get a feeling of getting any place, even as the facts of what really happened slowly knit into a story you are not likely to anticipate.

The basic plot device is that Blunt's character has been living too much through another couple's life, and when the couple's supposedly idyllic situation threatens to sour, she can't handle it and compounds the problem by trying to save it. One of the last lines of dialogue suggests she was right about everything all along, but I don't think we're supposed to agree.

The Girl on the Train wants a lot of thought by an intelligent audience; I don't expect it to be around very long.