UTTERLY WRETCHED: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
So here’s how it goes.
Black-out plonker and spurned, allegedly barren divorcee (red flag!) Rachel (Emily Blunt) wakes up from an average to medium sized night on the lash — blood-soaked, weedy lines of coke on a compact, potentially incriminating video-selfie rants, drained-thirst tanker of vodka (it was gin in the books, pedants!), nothing too confronting — convinced she’s done something heinous, potentially murderous.
Rachel has been riding the train past her former marital pad en route to a non-existent job in New York, on a daily basis, in the very best Hitchcockian tradition.
Rachel is into some pretty extreme surveilling, post-split.
(We call it stalking these days. Sorry, Jimmy Stewart).
Rachel’s ex, Tom (ironically, Justin Theroux, spouse of America’s fave-Rachel-ever, Jennifer Aniston and yes this could really be the plot of a way more interesting film considering), has an idyllic new life with missus Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) and their totes adorbs desperate-cry for-attention-Facebook-update Pixie-Foto scrubbed poppet (not credited).
Rachel’s also clocked the foxy Hipwells on these boozy faux-commutes.
Megan (Haley Bennett) and Scott (Luke Evans), appear to be living the supposed horrendous sexy young (thirty five plus) marrieds’ triple-mortgaged white picket fenced mausoleum dream.
Like, heaps of “saucy” how’s-yer-father on the kitchen counter (ooh-er) and maybe wiping it down later with something eco-friendly before scoping some Modern Family on an epic plasma before checking the Dow Jones on his n’ hers gold iPads and then sensible, doctors’ orders 2 x 30mg Xanax kips.
Of course, there’s also the sexy shrink, Dr Abdic (Edgar Ramirez), who’s been, er, seeing to Megan.
Or has he?
Anyway, to divulge much more would be to be giving this tepid load of extreme white person’s paranoid-delusional marital-fantasia kamikaze-nihilist death-spiral self-importance-delusion navel gazing way too much thought by an order of flat-fucking-out-reprehensible.
Like, duty of care, guys.
Duty of care.
What we have here is a distillation of every Cosmo, Cleo, Harper’s Bazaar ad infinitum guilt-performance/ lifestyle-narrative junk journalism piece writ large.
The Girl on the Train hinges on women at fault — drunk, naive, spurned — ‘broken’ — with generous lashings of overwrought suburban psychopathy on display.
Not living up to a non-existent, fantastical, societally imposed standard of… something intangible yet harrowingly fraught and ever present.
Luxuriating in its vanilla suburban milieu — comfort, affluence, privilege, class (what else have you got?) — this is tabloid bullshit through a triple-bleached filter, a dangerous wish fulfilment narrative hinging on broken ideals and horrifically constrictive, perversely Victorian notions of reality.
Is it conservative? Is it progressive? I have no fucking idea. It’s at once offensively boring and yet monumentally offensive — I mean, shit, the movie sets up the notion of “mummy wine” and the denouement also, er, directly hinges on the very artifice of the concept.
Like, “empowering”, yo.
Based on Paula Hawkins’ million selling 2015 beach potboiler — apparently people still read stuff — The Girl on the Train is directed by no-man’s David Fincher, Tate Taylor (Get On Up).
Look, what I’m saying is, don’t.
* Disclosure: I was listening to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ soundtrack for Gone Girl throughout the entire, sordid, penning of this review. Apparently Oingo Boingo’s Danny Elfman wrote the soundtrack to this shit, but who really cares?