I finally got to watch The Girl on the Train while I was in Amsterdam and I have to say I did not hate it but that’s not to say that I loved it. The movie was one of those that leave you indifferent. It had nothing special about it, nothing to write home about. It was a movie that will remain something I watched at some point in my life. Remember when the book came out and everyone kept comparing it to Gone Girl? That was one of the reasons it took me over a year to pick it up. Gone Girl was the right kind of psycho and I love that kind of psycho so I was not ready to be disappointed.
What made me read it is the fact that they cast Emily Blunt in the movie. That captured my interest. I have loved Emily Blunt in every movie she has been in and so it felt like she made the choice for me. I think I should stick to this trick, low expectations always! I went in expecting so little out of it that I actually enjoyed the book. Check out my review here. I could hardly put it down and I think I have accepted that crazy girl stories make me happy. I don’t know why. By the end of it I was wondering why people kept on comparing it to Gone Girl, they were nothing alike in my opinion. Amy will always be on her own level. She is the kind of crazy you don’t know whether to applaud for creativity or run away from for the level of creativity.
The first thing we take notice of when watching any adaptation are the differences from the book. The changes made most of the times mess up with the story and how it ends up looking from a wholesome point of view. I know that movies cannot capture every single thing in a book. The thing with movie adaptations, they make so many changes that it ends up feeling like an entirely different thing. Although, when it is adapted into a miniseries, they have more wiggle room and the cuts are kept to a minimum. Changes will always be there because I guess they want their own creative genius to go into the work or artistic license. But it’s an adaptation and from the word itself, the expectation should not be of a similar thing.
I mostly don’t have problems with the changes made because I get it, it cannot be the same thing. My interpretation will not be your interpretation when reading a book and that applies to the producers. But then there are some unsubtle changes made that really irk me. Like, really? Was that necessary? For The Girl on the Train, noticing the changes started from the watching the trailer. I found out the characters had changed from British to American and I was pissed. They had their reasons and I’m sure most of them had to do with money but that killed it for me. I wanted to hear all the drunk rants in that accent, not the American one!
The other change I took notice of was her drink of choice. In the book its clear she loves her gin and tonic not vodka and she buys a pack of cans which she carries around in her bag. I guess the change here had to do with practicality seeing that it is easier to hide your drinking problem if you walk around with a water bottle filled with vodka. A can of gin and tonic is a bit too obvious. Alcoholism 101 I guess. Was she mixing the vodka with something? So maybe the change here I can let slide.
The added scene of Rachel’s recording in a bathroom with some random woman which did not make any sense by the time I was done with the movie. She goes on a drunk rant while recording herself on how she wants to bash Megan’s head on the floor. There was no reason to add this in the film because the recording was not found or used against her so why the hell add it? It felt like it was added for the benefit of the people who had not read the book and were watching the film. It just felt pointless by the time the film credits were rolling.
Then the red haired man from the train. What the hell? He was simply made useless in the movie. In the book, he was part of the puzzle and ended up giving Rachel valuable information. In the movie, he just seems like a character who is judging Rachel from a distance in a creepy way. It’s like they wanted to deliver something very different from what was in the book and they would do anything to achieve it even if it meant stupid scene changes. They could have easily taken him completely out.
Tom and Rachel’s relationship is simply nonexistent in the movie compared to the book. In the book, you kind of felt that he was sorry for her and her problems but in the movie, he is mostly standoffish. They rarely cross paths and the only hints about Rachel being in his life came from his current wife. In the book, the way he related to her made the ending make more sense. It showed his manipulative nature towards all the women in his life. His psycho came out of nowhere in the movie and I guess they wanted to achieve the ‘WHAT?’ effect from the audience.
I could go on and on about the changes but I feel like I have turned this post into a rant. Pardon me. But the frustration needed an outlet and this was it for me. Despite all of that, I did enjoy the movie. I did not expect much from it so the little I got was okay for me. As I said earlier on, this is not a movie that will stay with me.
What did you think about it?
A Universal Pictures release of a DreamWorks, Reliance Entertainment, Mark Platt production. Producers: Marc Platt, Jared LeBoff. Executive producer: Celia D. Costas.
Director: Tate Taylor. Screenplay: Erin Cressida Wilson. Camera (color, widescreen): Charlotte Bruus Christensen. Editor: Michael McCusker.
Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Edgar Ramirez, Allison Janney, Lisa Kudrow, Laura Prepon.