Movie review: The Girl on The Train

Movie reviews, Uncategorized

Hello!

The highly awaited adaptation of the best-selling thriller has finally reached cinemas, so let’s talk about it! This is the review of The Girl on The Train.

IMDb summary: A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing person’s investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.

The Girl on The Train is an adaptation of the book with the same name, written by journalist-turned-writer Paula Hawkins and published in January of 2015. It has taken Hollywood only around a year and a half to come up with the cinematic version of the same story. The book has been compared to Gone Girl – famous novel by Gillian Flynn (another former journalist, now a published author), but I would also suggest you check out the other two Flynn’s books – Sharp Objects and Dark Places – if you liked The Girl on The Train. J.K.Rowling’s first adult novel – The Casual Vacancy – might also be of some interest to you, as it explores similar topics to The Girl on The Train, namely the idea of the domestic affairs and the concept of the outside image. Another analogous book about a dysfunctional family that is on my to-read list is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and all its sequels.

To me, the dichotomy of private and public life was one of the most interesting aspects of the source material. The novel also appealed to my inner stalker – I, as the main character Rachel, like to watch strangers around me and imagine their lives or imagine myself in their place. I guess that tells you something about my less-than-stable mental state. I promise I’m not a drunk, though.

Last year, both Gone Girl and Dark Places have been adapted to films and The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo has been turned into a couple of movies (both in Sweden and the US) and I’m sure that the adaptation of The Girl on The Train will be compared to all of them. Some will even go as far as to compare it to Hitchcock’s classics, which isn’t really fair, in my opinion. But, enough of the introduction, let’s get into the actual review of the picture.

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!SPOILER ALERT!

Writing

The Girl on The Train’s script was written by Erin Cressida Wilson. She penned last year’s Men, Women & Children – the only recent film with Adam Sandler that I didn’t hate – I actually even enjoyed it. As per usual, some of the details of the story were changed when adapting the narrative. To begin with, the action was relocated from London to New York for no obvious  creative reason, other than to appeal more to the American audiences. I would have preferred it to be set in England – the gloomy and rainy London would have fit the story more than the city who never sleeps – NY. The screenwriter also cut a few of the creepier details that were in the book, namely a couple of messed up sex scenes. She also gave more traits to some characters: Rachel liked to draw and we actually saw her go to an AA meeting and Megan liked to go on runs. Cathy’s character was altered a bit too, while the character of Martha was an original creation for the picture. The role that the media played in the murder mystery was also diminished in the film.

Other than that, the characters pretty much stayed the same – they were all damaged people, some for a reason, others – without explanation. Then again, some people just are the way they are and there is no deeper tale behind their personality. Rachel basically was digging a hole for herself throughout the film, Megan was playing with fire and got burnt, and don’t even get me started on Anna – she was so willing to turn a blind eye to everything that she kinda made me sick. The 2 male character got a bit less of development but they were both kinda similar – abusive in one way or the other to some extent. Inspector Riley’s character was actually better in the film than in the book – she was super annoying in the novel and actually quite efficient and clever in the film, though she still went after a wrong person.

The narrative was more compressed in the movie than in the book, but all the main themes stayed the same: the desire to create a family was still the most driving plot point of the story (so stereotypical and one that I cannot understand or agree with, then again, I’ve never been family-orientated and this story only reassured my beliefs) and the private life and the public exterior were juxtaposed. The characters looked at each other for an ideal example and lived in a past way too much. The movie also showed the complexity and the dark side of relationships and love and looked at a very important aspect of the modern life – mental problems and depression.

Directing

Tate Taylor, whose previous films include The Help and Get on Up, directed The Girl on The Train and did a fine job. The camera was a bit static, but the visuals of the train in the background of various shots were nice. All the close-ups also worked to make the movie a bit more intimate experience. And yet, the film was quite slow and the numerous flashbacks didn’t really allow the story to go forward – it seemed like something was holding the movie back. The levels of intensity were also low and the buildup to the big twist was basically non-existent. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the big reveal even if I knew it beforehand. I wish that particular sequence would have been longer, though – the picture wrapped up really quickly when the real killer was announced to the audience and the characters. Overall, the directing was a bit flat and I wish Taylor would have done more with the material.

Music

The movie’s soundtrack by Danny Elfman wasn’t really noticeable (which sometimes is a good thing). I liked the instrumental score but wished they used more actual songs. For one, I really liked the trailer’s song Heartless and that comes from a person who highly dislikes Kanye West.

Acting

  • Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow, Into the WoodsSicarioThe Huntsman) as Rachel Watson was absolutely amazing. She played such a believable drunk person – her performance was never over-the-top or too cartoonish. She basically carried this whole movie by herself and I really wish that her work in this film would be recognized with at least a Golden Globe nomination. Her 2 upcoming film are both animated but I’m sure that we will soon get a few announcements about her being cast in some live-action flicks.
  • Haley Bennett (Hardcore Henry) as Megan Hipwell was also really good. She reminded me a bit of both Jennifer Lawrence and Rosamund Pike. Furthermore, Bennett’s acting range is amazing – the character of Megan was completely different from her last cinematic character in The Magnificient Seven. Would love to seem more of her work.
  • Rebecca Ferguson (MI5, Florence Foster Jenkins) as Anna Watson was also great. While reading the book, I really disliked Anna and thought she acted a bit creepy and Ferguson portrayed that well.
  • Justin Theroux as Tom Watson. Theroux played a good villain – that of the worst kind. He seemed to be a good husband and father on the outside, but deep down was a manipulative liar, who managed to believe his own lies, and had no regard for other people’s mental or physical lives. While reading the book, I guessed that he was the killer when I still had around 50 pages left to the big reveal. He just seemed too normal to be a character in the book full of broken people. Going forward, Theroux will be voicing a lord in The Lego Ninjago Movie
  • Luke Evans (The Hobbit trilogy, Dracula Untold, High-Rise) as Scott Hipwell was fine in the role. I kinda feel like he was used as an eye candy for the first half of the film, though. He only said his first line in the 45th minute of the film (I checked). Nonetheless, his few emotional scenes with Blunt were my favorite parts of the movie. His next film is the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, which I’m super excited about!
  • Allison Janney as Detective Sgt. Riley was really good. Janney’s performance made me like the character of Riley much more than I did in the book. Coincidentally, I only just saw another film with her – she had a small role in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
  • Édgar Ramírez (Joy, Point Break) as Dr. Kamal Abdic was fine. He was clearly not Bosnian (that was a big deal in the book) but they still tried to mention his ethnicity in the film which didn’t work. In the book, he was the survivor/refugee of the Yugoslavian wars and this impacted the media’s perception of him as the supposed killer. In the film, they just had Rachel throw the line ‘Where are you from?’ as a possible nod to his background in the book, but that didn’t really work.

In short, The Girl on The Train was an okay movie. The strongest part of it was the acting, while the directing and the writing had to take the back seat. It is not a must watch, but the fans of the book, as well as those who like character/actor-driven films, should check it out.

Rate: 3.5/5

Trailer: The Girl on The Train trailer

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Movie reviews: Old ones + BONUS Godzilla 2014

Movie reviews

Hello everybody!

Sorry for not writing for so long. The reason for that is simple – I hadn’t had anything interesting to write about. But now you are in for a real treat: 3 movie reviews.

I will start with a new one: Godzilla 2014. You might wonder why I am not doing a separate, big review of a newly released motion picture like I usually do. The answer for that is straightforward: I do not know how to feel about this movie. Don’t get me wrong – it is a good movie but I just wasn’t blown away by it. This might be because I saw it really late in the evening and practically napped through the last 20 minutes. So this could mean that the movie wasn’t interesting enough to keep me awake. Or I might have just been too tired. Anyway, there were a lot of great scenes and plot-lines, which I really enjoyed. First of all, I was really digging the design of Godzilla: it was true Godzilla as we know it. However, (SPOILER ALERT) I didn’t really like MUTOs design: they looked fake to me, too geometrical. The character I loved the most was Dr. Ishiro Serizawa played by Ken Watanabe. I enjoyed seeing a scientific side of these monsters. The last thing that brought delight to me was the fact that Godzilla was portrayed not as a monster but as a nature’s warrior and bringer of balance. Overall, I would rate this movie 4/5. It wasn’t as good as Pacific Rim. That is the best monster movie I ever did see. Pacific Rim also is so much better that any Transformers installment, just because it is more realistic.

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And now, as I have promised, further down you will find two more short reviews of older movies which I have seen in the last few months at home. Enjoy!

The Bling Ring – this movie shows how messed up our society is. We are obsessed with celebrities, with material things; we want to be rich and famous. Because of all this outside “bling” and sparkle we forget what is inside. We can’t remember what the true value of life is. The movie shows how a group of teenagers were robbing rich people house and practically getting away with it. By robbing celebrities, they became well-know. It was like an easy way to fame. The movie also addresses the fake friendship issue, which is also very important these days. People like to use each other for their own good. This film makes you think about the way you live and what your goals in life are. Do we really need to have a lot of money, a huge house or an expensive car to be happy? What is happiness? How can we achieve happiness without bringing bad things to other people? These are the real life question and if you found an answer to them, you had achieved happiness. Rate 4.5/5

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The Way Way Back – this was one of those movies which you can’t really understand while watching but can’t turn off either. It tells a story of 14 years old boy named Duncan who encounters a lot of family problems: his mom does not take care of him, his dad does not want him and his mom’s boyfriend abuses him emotionally. The only place he can find happiness is Water Park, where he befriends a jokester named Owen. The movie teaches us that you have to take a stand for yourself even if you are afraid. You have to surround yourself with people who are good to you, who you can trust and eliminate those, who wish you misfortune. Rate 5/5

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Style inspiration: skater skirt !

Beauty&Fashion

Hello everybody, how is your Saturday?

For today I prepared a fashion post. So, while snacking on chocolate chip cookies I am going to tell you about the most versatile clothing item ever invented. in my opinion, this well-deserved  tittle goes to the skater/circle skirt. It comes in variety of colors and flatters every body shape. My skirt is black, because it is my favorite color (keep in mind, I am no goth:) and I am going to show you two ways how to style it. Inspiration for these looks comes from a TeenVogue magazine, which celebrates individuality and simplicity while looking gorgeous and true to yourself. So here we go.

The main piece – black skater skirt is form NewYorker.

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1.Style – Sporty/Edgy

ImageAs InStyle magazine maintains, classical denim with a worn out look is on trend again. The collar shirt is from H&M and I rolled up the sleeves to give it more of a grungy look. The shoes are simple sneakers in a bold color (any tennis shoe would work here too). Accessories: stud bracelets I have made myself – they add an edgy touch and a sparkly grey broach in a shape of lizard is from FashionZone. It gives a bright and vibrant feel to the neck area without being to much. Statement necklace ,in this case, would not work, because it would just overcrowd the top of the outfit.

2. Style – Glamorous, but still Comfortable

ImageThe top of the outfit is this simple grey T-shirt with interesting ruffles on the sleeves. Brand – Madonna’s MaterialGirl. Shoes are last year’s dark blue flats with studs. (However, flats are taking over the fashion world this year as seen on the runway of Simone Rocha and Rochas at fashion week). I bought mine in a local boutique. Accessories: statement necklace in white and black colors with a bit of sparkle – this was a gift from my aunt. Bracelet – another gift, but this time from my friend. It is a snake wrapped around a wrist like a Isabelle’s whip in the Mortal Instruments series (told you, I am a geek too).

So these are two of many ways how to style a skater skirt. If you are cold, you can add leggings or tights underneath both of these combinations Like I said, it flatters every body shape and everybody can make it their own. I know that I for sure will be styling this skirt in a variety of ways this summer and these two are just couple of them. I hoped you enjoyed this post and maybe it gave you some inspiration. Bye:)

Links: http://www.newyorker.de/en/fashion-lifestyle/  http://www.teenvogue.com/  http://www.instyle.co.uk/  http://www.fzone.lt/   http://materialgirlcollection.com/fall_2012/

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