Rachel travels on the same train route every day, from where she regularly observes the “perfect” couple, Scott and Megan. But one day, Rachel sees something from the train, and becomes involved in the mystery of a missing girl.
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So-so whodunnit enlivened - nay, saved - by a fantastic performance by Emily Blunt as a woman well over the verge of a nervous breakdown. There are Hitchockian pretensions aplenty: the sheer number of icy blondes alone can initially be confusing (as no doubt it was for poor, vertiginous Scottie in 1958).
Emily Blunt gives a staggering performance here in this adaptation of the popular novel by Paula Hawkins. Also scoring with interesting roles are Haley Bennett and Rebecca Ferguson. The problem with the film is not performance but plot contrivance married with unrealistic police behaviour. If one can get past the silliness at times the film is an effective enough thriller that brings to mind some iconic 80's films.
Blunt is superb, the ensemble very good, the direction so-so and the source material hit-and-miss. The overriding tone echoes the French Clouzot masterpiece 'Les Diaboliques', with a profound challenge regarding the nature of emotional abuse. The denouement arguably lacks nuance in characterisation, akin to 'Gone Girl', where depictions of the rote psychopath amidst a hotbed of gender politics reigns.
WHY? Must Justin Theroux always be the creepy one? Bring back him on Lynch's projects! Luke Evans is just... there. The same with Lisa Kudrow, Allison Janney and Laura Prepon. Both second wife and nanny looked almost the same to me. Oh, Emily, Emily! I still love you, but this is UGH HELP ME
It's a so-so episode from Law and Order expanded to movie length. Miserable alcoholic stalker becomes only slight less miserable. Most remarkable for me was that Phoebe managed to play a woman that I didn't want to strangle for being so annoying. Because everyone else in this movie was sooooo annoying.
Initial convolution comes in the way of a plethora of characters being introduced all at once, on top of two of which looking very similar, but the film sort of regains its composure. There's always mystery present, and Emily Blunt gives a terrific performance. Suffers by comparison to Gone Girl in tone and approach, but doesn't bring much to the domestic angle besides something for the book-club members to cheer on.