Oct 19

The Girl on The Train – Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

the-girl-on-the-train-movie-reviewWe all know, at-least we bookworms do – that the book is always better than the movie – always! Okay, maybe not always, there was an exception; I had found The Notebook movie light years better than the book. Anyway, I digress.

Coming to The Girl on The Train – this movie was okay, as in 3.5 stars okay; but then considering it was a translation of a pretty great plot – it couldn’t have been that bad, right? Okay I am possibly being hard on this movie, but to be honest, I was a little disappointed with how the book was adapted for the screen.

Related: The Girl on The Train (Spoiler Free  – Book Review).

The Girl on The Train – Movie Review

First things first – for me, the best thing about the book was not the whodunit aspect of it; sure it was a gripping mystery, but the thing that really had me hooked from the very beginning, was how the author handled the characters – they were these wonderfully complex beings, who revealed themselves, bit by intriguing bit, as the story unfolded. It triggered a lot of emotions in the reader – ranging from disgust to surprise to empathy (an interesting journey in itself) for the very same people. And that is what made the whodunit element of the book all the more intriguing and edge-of-the-seat thrilling.

In the movie – this whole aspect kinda falls flat. It’s a very watered down version of the book, which to be fair, can be said about majority of book to movie adaptations, but then there are some brilliantly done ones – like the Harry Potter Series or The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, or more recently The Martian.

See, I don’t mean to compare every single adaptation to the gold standard, and I understand the limitations of the format, but without revealing any spoilers for this particular book, I can only say that the climax should have been handled better.

The final confrontation scene – it was a really really disappointing translation. It was like someone giving you a summary of what happened instead of actually showing it (and ironically – this was visual media) – it lacked the awe-inspiring execution of the book. Actually, if the climax had been done well,  I might have been writing a very different review today.

Having said all of that, I must say that Emily Blunt did a fabulous job of playing Rachel. She held it together brilliantly even as her character was falling apart. I knew that this was great casting, when I first heard of her playing the title character, but she truly exceeded expectations (which were pretty high in the first place) for me. So that is saying something.

All in All: It’s not a must-watch, but not an absolute tragedy too. If you like Emily Blunt, you might want to see it, as she does a pretty great portrayal of Rachel. Outside of that, it lacks the punch that the book packs. It’s not the edge-of-the-seat thriller that the book was; it’s more of a moderately interesting story of pretty people in peril. But have I said, that Emily Blunt was pretty awesome? I did? Okay, it’s worth mentioning twice. 😀

The Girl on The Train (Amazon) | The Girl on The Train (Flipkart)

Have you guys seen the movie? What did you think of it? Did you feel that the book packed a stronger punch too? Did you love Emily Blunt as much as I did? So many questions! 😛

And if you haven’t seen the movie, have you read the book? If not, go pick it up NOW (or read my spoiler free review first)! Because, whether you want to see the movie or not, this is a must-read book – especially if you like psychological thrillers.


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  1. Awww… I was planning on catching it this Monday. Now I’m having second thoughts. Why oh why don;t films live up to the books!
    Obsessivemom recently posted…A less than perfect role-modelMy Profile

  2. I enjoyed the movie. I loved the book more. It was more impactful, sure as most books are. I asked my husband who had not read the book and he enjoyed the movie not as much as Gone Girl. We both enjoy thrillers. I think they did a competent job with the cinematic adaptation. The book in the first half was very slow and had more time to build the characters. The climax could have been better executed I agree. That dialog about her being like a dog was so impactful in the book and pretty washed out here. Overall a decent one-time watch for me.
    Rachna Parmar recently posted…How Brands Get Their Paid Reviews Wrong?My Profile

  3. For me, it was a classic case of expectations being too high. Everyone went crazy over the book on booktube and I was like okayIgottareadthisnoworI’lldie. Aaaaaand it fell flat. Yeah I know SO many people who hate me for this but I felt what I felt and nobody was more disappointed about that than I. I felt all the right things at the right places but I was like “oooooh something is going to blow my mind” and it didn’t :'( Even so, it was definitely an above average experience for me 🙂

    I DO like Blunt, so I may just give the movie a little looksee 🙂

  4. Atleast LOTR, HP, I had enjoyed the movie too. But this one, I will depend on the book. It is getting hotter on my ‘Want to read’ list now.
    Lata Sunil recently posted…Book Blitz : Second Chance at Forever by Summerita RhayneMy Profile

  5. I was so badly waiting for this movie that I went to watch it on the first day it released. When I saw the half filled theater I was disappointed. But hey, I had loved the book and the movie was something I had to watch. Just like the book, I thought the first half of the movie was really slow too. Yes, the climax which jolted me in the book, was very bleak and rushed in the movie. Not the best, but a decent watch I must say. Yes, the book was definitely better. And yes, Emily Blunt was FAB! So was Justin Theroux.

    Very few movies are better than the book. I am reading ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ now and it is testing my patience. I absolutely loved the movie and I think it was one of the best performances by Meryl Steep who I love so so much. Hey, it has Emily Blunt too! 🙂 . The book on the other hand is draggy, mediocre and painful. I still cannot believe that it set the base for such a wonderful movie.

    I love your reviews Shantala. They are precise and clean. Do keep up the good work.

    Soumya recently posted…Conscious UncouplingMy Profile

  6. Hi Shantala, I haven’t seen the movie so, thanks for this heads up. I always expect too much of a movie after reading the book first. It sounds like an essential part of the book is missing. On face value though, maybe the suspense and Emily Blunt can pull it off? I may wait for it to come to on demand. Thanks for the review!
    Lisa Thomson recently posted…Goddess To The RescueMy Profile

  7. You know another one where the movie’s better is The Princess Bride. Like way way WAY better, in my opinion. I’ve not read OR seen The Girl on the Train, but I’m not surprised to hear that Emily Blunt’s wonderful. I’ve been really high on her ever since seeing Edge of Tomorrow, which I specifically didn’t want to like because I hate Tom Cruise so much, but Emily Blunt made the movie. She’s so gorgeous and talented, I love her.

    • She is. I love her too. In fact, she is the reason that I liked this movie as much as I did. Having said that, you must read the book before you watch this one. The book is far better than the adaptation.

      As far as Princess Bride is concerned, I only recently saw the movie (unaware that it was an adaptation). And loved it. Haven’t read the book though, and now I feel that I (thankfully) did not really miss much. 🙂
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…October Wrap Up – Books and MoviesMy Profile

  8. I’ve not read the book or watched the movie yet, but am now tempted to read the book right away! I loved Gone girl, the movie and am yet to read the book, so wondering if I’d feel the same about reading the book now.

    I’ve missed your reviews, Shantala 🙂
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  9. I wouldn’t want to give the box office my money for this movie for two reasons:
    1. I read Gone Girl before I watched the movie, and the movie totally disappointed me. Hence, I don’t want to repeat the mistake.
    2. Secondly, I had found The Girl On The Train predictable. So I don’t know how the movie would manage to keep me in suspense.

    But that’s just me, I guess?

    Good job with the review, Shantala. You’re the best! ?
    Mithila Menezes @fabulus1710 recently posted…Business Lessons from Lord VoldemortMy Profile

  10. I loved the book. And I am yet to watch the movie. But I always kind of knew that the movie won’t do justice to the book. I like Emily Blunt and so as you said, I must watch it 🙂

  11. Well reviewed.

  12. I haven’t read the book yet and reading the movies reviews has squelched my desire to see it. I might give the book a try.

  13. I haven’t read the book, but I love watching Emily Blunt on screen. I might watch the movie for her, as you said.
    Maliny Mohan recently posted…How Anxious Am I? – Bits From LifeMy Profile

  14. I love Emily Blunt especially after watching The Adjustment Bureau, so that’s one reason of watching the movie. Secondly, I loved the book. But I don’t have high expectations. Such plots don’t come out as good in movies I believe. The same happened with Gone Girl. But I happen to fall under “If you like Emily Blunt, you might want to see it.”

    Whenever I land on your book reviews or movie reviews, I write the same thing I will write again :p I loved The Notebook (the book). 😀 And I’m a sparky fan!

    Also, PS I love You is the one book that reminds me that movies can actually be better than the books. It’s rare but not impossible.
    Anmol Rawat recently posted…In a World Without You – Day 0My Profile

  15. I realise I must read the book before watching the movie.. let’s see…
    Pratikshya recently posted…Tea TalesMy Profile

  16. That book is something else. But I will watch the movie just because it’s “The Girl on the Train” and of course, for Emily Blunt. She’s one of my favorites ! As always, your reviews are so to-the-point and balanced. You’ve been missed!

  17. This book has been in my TBR for a long time now. I always feel that the books are light years ahead of the movies. But yet, visual treat at times is good. Will try to catch up on the movie and the book soon

  18. It is exciting to see a book come to life on a big screen. But more often than not a good book does not necessarily translate into a good movie. I loved reading this book and I was keen on watching the movie too. But now I am not so sure.

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