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The Girl on the Train: Storytelling Galore

by Jurmane Lallana

Photos courtesy of Dreamworks Pictures/United International Pictures Philippines

Whenever you watch movies, is there a point when you get so engrossed with what’s happening that you just want to step into the screen and help out? That’s how I was with The Girl on the Train.



Fresh off the smash hit Train to Busan, we now get a suspense thriller called The Girl on the Train. (Seriously, what’s up with all these train movies? Hehe.) While Busan deals with a zombie outbreak that threatens to annihilate the human race, The Girl on the Train focuses on Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt), a bitter, alcoholic divorcee who fixates on a couple she gets to see whenever she rides the train (which is like, a LOT of times).


I could tell you that my primary motivation for watching The Girl on the Train is because I read journalist Paula Hawkins’ book where it is based on. Unfortunately, I can’t. All I know is that I watched The Girl on the Train because I wolf down anything that Emily Blunt appears in. Call me a fanboy all you want, but it’s as natural to me as the sun rising in the east. However, to be fair, I think even without Emily in the cast, the premise, by itself, is already compelling. Watch the trailer, and you’ll see what I mean.


Emily Blunt is so brilliant at being messed up in the Girl on the Train that you’d forget she ever played strong characters like Edge of Tomorrow’s Rita Vrataski before. Her projection of Rachel’s misery is masterful that you can’t help but feel sympathetic.

Girl on a Train, The

Yes, Rachel is the central character, and the movie title The Girl on the Train pertains to her, but we quickly see that it focuses on two other women: Megan (Haley Bennett) and Anna (Rebecca Ferguson). All of them are very imperfect characters, which makes their stories more human, and therefore, more captivating. Feelings of jealousy, attachment, and sadness flood out and dominate the film.

Girl on a Train, The

The Girl on the Train highlights the power of storytelling in shaping our lives. How we react depends on the stories we tell ourselves and the stories from the people around us. How do we distinguish from the truth and what goes on in our head? Is it one and the same?


My friend said pacing was a bit slow. It may be so, but I think it was a needed effect for everything to sink in. There are no supernatural elements here (thank goodness, since the film is already a lot to take in) but it manages to strike fear into our hearts anyway. An engaging narrative, its purpose is to really confuse you while giving out strands of clues, given the way the angles and scenes were shot.


Beardict: The Girl on the Train is, without a doubt, a stressful movie. This is not something you watch during the weekend to relax yourself. However, is it worth watching? Of course. If you’re the type who likes to make your heart beat faster and solve complicated mysteries, this one’s definitely for you. The film keeps you thinking and thinking like a good mental exercise.


(For a shallower reason, you can just enjoy six beautiful people interacting with each other. I know this is the Hollywood effect, but I’m still not over the fact that all of the main characters look too ridiculously attractive to coexist in the same space. Haha.)


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