(The Girl on the Train, 2016 – Dreamworks)
When thinking how to talk about this film, I felt compelled to avoid talking about Gone Girl, as many critics had done so and it feels like a cheap insult. Yet I really don’t know how to look at this film critically without drawing comparisons to David Fincher’s last film as without it, I doubt The Girl on the Train would have made it to the screen so quickly. I feel uncertain on my feelings for the film, the narrative is interesting and engaging – though somewhat difficult to navigate at times.
Emily Blunt plays a convincing alcoholic both physically and emotionally, her performance is just raw enough to allow her to walk the line of guilty and innocent. Supporting cast were great. I enjoyed seeing Laura Prepon play a minor character, a big change from her large role in Orange is the New Black. If there was anything that I loved, it was Danny Elfman’s score. Why? Because it sounded so unlike Elfman. With popular composers like Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman and even my favourite composer Thomas Newman, you can clearly place their work together just by ear. Yes you could again compare Elfman’s score to Gone Girl’s, but I won’t.
I remember the book being sold as “Gone Girl meets Rear Window” – and I guess that could be true. But the film doesn’t meet voyeuristic level of Rear Window and recreate that Hitchcock suspense and charm, nor does it compare to the twist in the middle of Gone Girl simultaneously. Same themes? Possibly. Maybe this is just the start of a stream of crime thrillers set in motion from Gone Girl’s success. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.