Review of ‘The Girl on the Train’ From Someone Who Watched Pieces of It On Other People’s Screens on an Airplane While I Watched Other Movies
Editor’s note: The writer (who is also the editor writing this note) has neither seen the movie nor read the book by the same name. She also chose to watch “The Magnificent Seven” and “Masterminds” instead of TGotT. Sorry.
It is dark, not because it is stormy or night, but because Emily Blunt has on a lot of eye makeup while she rides the train, her beloved beast-machine. So shiny are its walls, so clear are its windows.
OR SO YOU THINK!
She and this train are about to go on a journey together, which is not just a metaphor: She literally rides the train all the time. Sometimes she’s looking out the window, but sometimes she really only sees a reflection of herself. But can she really see who she is? Or is she looking at an imposter, someone who has always claimed to love trains?
“What am I doing with this eyeliner,” she has to be thinking, forlornly, because the movie, if you are unaware, is dark and most likely forlorn.
Much of the time she’s looking out the window, I get the sense from other people’s screens that Emily Blunt is not happy with her life. She looks darkly forlorn, but also perturbed. It’s not so different from her “Sicario” look, which was to seem overwhelmed and anxious the whole time.
So by that math, she’s not necessarily stressed out, she’s just bored and fed up with her life.
But then surprise! The flight attendants are bringing drinks!
Many of the people watching this movie opt for alcohol on our four-hour flight from Toronto to Salt Lake City, but it seems to be an even split between this one and “Bridget Jones’s Baby.”
Emily Blunt rides the trains a lot, but the only aspect of her travels that gives her joy is seeing a woman who I think may be Jennifer Lawrence but then sometimes does not look like Jennifer Lawrence and thus will heretofore be referred to as Funhouse Katniss. (There may, in fact, be two women playing two roles of women who look like each other, and they should get an Oscar because yes, I couldn’t tell the difference! But only one Oscar. They can King Solomon that shit.)
Funhouse Katniss is blonde so we know she’s lighter and more fun than Emily Blunt, who is a broonette (that’s a combo of brooding and brunette). Funhouse Katniss also seems to be sleeping with a male broonette, the Guy Who Is Supposed to Finally Marry Jennifer Aniston, and they do not have good sex. I look over and he’s just a-thrustin’ away behind her while they lie on their sides and her face couldn’t be more bored and oh god, I think my loins just crawled up into my vagina, it is so unsexy.
But that apparently is the point, because GWISTFMJA is like, “Whoa, you are not loving this really boring move? What is up, behb?” And I think they fight, but it was likely just louder brooding.
The bad vibes seem to be catching, because though Emily Blunt is finally off the train and at an outdoor party, where I assume she’s explaining the wonder of public transportation and seeing other human beings, she’s still darklorned.
Nobody else seems to be catching on to the glories of trains. This infuriates Emily Blunt, who throws a plate of shrimp into LISA KUDROW’s face for some reason. Lisa doesn’t get it. No one gets it. Trains. They’re tube-machines but they take us places. People. They exist outside AND inside of the train. HOW DO THEY GET ANYWHERE IF THEY AREN’T ON THE TRAIN?
Emily Blunt is in an underground public bathroom, and she’s staring at her expression in the mirror. Her eyeliner is smeared, so we can tell she’s had a Rough Night. Flashbacks show her maybe pulling Funhouse Katniss’ hair, maybe hanging out in a tunnel. But we know that even if she can’t remember exactly what she did — was it a murder? I don’t know! Someone on Twitter said the whole movie is about murder but I did not pick up on that at all — she will scream at herself in a panic.
And she does. She screams at her reflection, she’s so angry at herself. She is struggling to remember, and it appears to be a huge deal, so obviously it’s about the train. Did she miss the train? Was there ever really a train at all??
At one point, Emily Blunt wanders off the train and into a house.
“What do the un-trained do in their spare time,” I’m assuming she wonders.
She spots a human baby, it is in a crib and NOT a train and Emily Blunt cannot deal. She knows she is the only one who can fix this, so she grabs the little babe and takes it into the yard. She’s a sobbing mess while she does this, probably because the baby is heavy and she’s not used to walking places because the train just takes her there.
The baby’s mother — OMG it’s FUNHOUSE KATNISS — follows into the yard like, “Who made the milkshakes that brought me here and also that is my baby, Emily Blunt, she is not old enough for trains!”
So Emily Blunt stares at Funhouse Katniss, also unsure if it’s Jennifer Lawrence, and puts the baby down slowly. Then she just walks out of the yard, because that mom did not appreciate her AT ALL. Then she sees GWISTFMJA brooding up some outside stairs, with the paparazzi on his case.
“Never happens to me on the train,” I assume she thought, smugly.
In essence, The Girl on the Train tells us that unless we keep moving in our lives, we will get stagnant, having horrible sex with broonettes and living with non-train-riding babies and throwing shellfish at national treasures, unless we decide to get on the train.
The train of life.