“Who was it said that following your heart is a good thing? It is pure egotism, a selfishness to conquer all.”
I recently finished listening to The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins on audiobook; I then watched the film version directed by Tate Taylor and starring Emily Blunt. Let’s do a mini review of both of them!
I always have a problem going in to things that have been majorly hyped up before I get to them. This happened with the likes of Talledega Nights, The Hunger Games, Bridesmaids, and other things that aren’t coming to mind right now but you get the picture. That’s not to say that I didn’t necessarily enjoy them (except Bridesmaids, it was terrible), but I had my expectations set too high and didn’t like them as much as I thought I would. This was the case with The Girl on the Train. It was an interesting story, it was well written, and most of the characters were really well flushed out but it wasn’t as world-turning as I thought it would be.
However, my favorite aspect of the book is the character Rachel. She did some seriously cringe-worthy things and although sympathetic at times, was pretty detestable for the majority of the book. But I loved this aspect of her. I can really get behind a character that’s hard to like, especially one that feels so real and truly doesn’t see how she’s screwing things up for herself. She read like a true alcoholic and though difficult, I loved reading from her point of view.
Another aspect that was great – the narrators. Clare Corbett as Rachel, Louise Brealey as Megan, and India Fisher as Anna. These women did a phenomenal job playing these characters.
I am a huge fan of Emily Blunt but I was skeptical about her ability to play an overweight, delusional, blackout alcoholic. She was an incredibly badass female in Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 crime drama Sicario but I wasn’t sure she could achieve the same atrocious personality that Rachel has in the book. The makeup for the film worked some crazy magic because she constantly looks inebriated – flushed, sweaty, blotchy. She portrayed the sadness that Rachel feels throughout the story which is difficult when it’s presented first person in the novel. There’s intense emotion when discussing her fertility issues and sorrow when talking about her lost life with Tom. You can also sense the confusion and betrayal felt when she realizes what’s really going on (trying not to give spoilers, yo).
Of both I give a 3.5 of 5 stars. The story is enjoyable but not the most exceptional or surprising thing I’ve ever read/seen. If you have a free weekend and need a thriller to pass the time, I’d recommend it for that!