The Girl on the Train: Adapting Your Story

Opening October 7 is the adaptation of yearlong bestseller The Girl on the Train, and here is the sexy thriller trailer, and follow it up with how much I’m not anticipating the movie thanks to the book:

Girl on the Train

by Paula Hawkins

Movie: directed by Tate Taylor, and written by Erin Cressida Wilson

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Book: 2.25 out of 5 stars

Sometimes, I really hate needing to read what I watch before I watch it.  What I expect from a bestseller should never be more than tentative interest in a phenomena.  Gone Girl left me cold, so why did I anticipate The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins would be any more favorable?  Thrillers, whether they be Grisham or filled with Liam Neeson, tend to disappoint, and this one landed in the most predictable of circumstances.

 

This thriller found alcoholic, jobless, divorced Rachel riding the train into London every day to attempt to find a new job and avoid her roommate’s suspicions of her getting fired.  Each day traveling to and from the city, Rachel fixates on a couple who live down the street from her ex husband Tom Watson and his new wife Anna and daughter Evie.  When she sees some adulterous material occurring in her fascination’s backyard, followed by the wife Megan’s disappearance, Rachel abandons getting her life on track to focus on the missing woman, along with her own possible blacked-out involvement for the murder.

 

This October, The Girl on the Train will be making the transition to the big screen, directed Tate Taylor (The Help, Grace & Frankie) and written by the inconsistent Erin Cressida Wilson (Secretary, awesome; Men Women & Children, Chloe, not so much).  The worrisome history of Wilson’s filmography aside, Taylor has worked magic with bestselling underperformers before, leading Viola Davis and crew into a superbly acted Best Picture nominee.  With the ever wonderful Emily Blunt in the lead role as Rachel, I anticipated her performance to be juicy and sloppy (in the best ways), but after watching the trailer, I’m concerned they’ve leaned toward the sexy thriller over the psychological thriller.

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The book followed the constant foibles of an alcoholic barely able to ride the train without blacking out from canned gin and tonics.  A damaging divorce after embarrassing mishaps led to the lonely woman losing her wits.  Laura Prepon will play her exasperated roommate.  Rebecca Ferguson is the new wife.  Hopeful “it” girl Haley Bennett is the beautiful young wife of the couple she has chosen as her distraction, and Gaston-to-be Luke Evans broods as the grieving husband.  Wrapping up the handsome cast is Justin Theroux, who I imagine by this point everyone has seen jogging.
The drastic shift from the disheveled, overweight Rachel to her joining a mixture between Gone Girl and Fifty Shades of Grey deserves concern; it loses the intriguing destruction Rachel heaps upon herself and the infuriating uncertainty she encounters through her obsession.  Hoping for the trailer to be the intriguing portions to draw in the crowds, but I’m not hopeful for another surprise.

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