“The Girl on the Train”: Book versus movie (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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I’m a little late to the party, as the movie came out more than a month ago, but last weekend Jared and I went to see “The Girl on the Train.”

Although I wasn’t overly impressed with the book, I was curious to see how it was brought to life on the big screen.

Some small, foolish part of me hoped I would like the movie better. I didn’t.

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My blue raspberry Icee was excellent, though.

Had I been watching the movie at home instead of in the theater (and in hindsight, I could have waited until it came out on DVD except Jared and I really wanted to see a movie on our anniversary trip) I might have taken a cue from The Captain’s Speech and written a “viewing notes” post. So instead, over the past few days since we saw the movie, I’ve been recording my thoughts on it in a draft post.

I want to say first of all that I didn’t totally hate the movie, just as I didn’t totally hate the book. The casting director (or whatever you call the casting person … as previously stated, I’m not a film buff but I know what I like) made some stellar choices.

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Allison Janney kicked butt as Detective Riley.

Most notably, Emily Blunt portrayed Rachel with the right doses of scorned ex-lover and stubborn “witness.” The cinematography was impressive as well.

But, Festivus is upon us, and in the spirit of the season I need to air some grievances.

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Here’s my initial reactions as well as some lingering questions and observations. As I warned in the title, there are huge spoilers ahead …

 

The movie is set in New York instead of London. WHY? I don’t know how important this is, but it just feels weird that Emily Blunt seems to have been dropped out of the blue into Manhattan. (Yes, I know people with British accents can live in the U.S. Just go with it.)

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What’s with the bar bathroom scene someone dreamed up for the movie? Why is Rachel recording a video on her phone with some random lady and defacing the mirror with lipstick? My biggest problem with this over-the-top scene is it gives her additional evidence from a night she initially has no memory of.

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Scott and Rachel sleep together in the book (like once?) As far as I could tell it never happened in the movie, which may not seem like a big deal, but it showed just how many lines Rachel crossed.

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Way to downplay Megan’s checkered past. The movie mentioned her family background  in such an offhand sort of way that I barely noticed it. I know a reasonably watchable movie shouldn’t run longer than about two hours, but I feel like there were important details about her past that were mostly overlooked.

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Did anyone else feel like Anna was a lot more sympathetic toward Rachel at the end of the movie than at the end of the book? She just seemed to stick up for her a lot more.

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Final thought: Did the movie really need to spell out the last scene for us with Rachel’s cheesy voiceover about riding on the other side of the train because she’s no longer looking back? We’re not stupid.

What was wrong with the way the book ended, giving us just enough closure tinged with an unsettling tone?

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I’m out.

 

Now that I’ve said my piece, who else has both read the book and seen the movie? What did you think?

 

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6 thoughts on ““The Girl on the Train”: Book versus movie (MAJOR SPOILERS)

  1. I’ve only read the book this past month with one of my book clubs and I liked it well enough and will eventually see the movie, for book blogger posterity but you make some very good points.
    I will probably wait until we can rent it on iTunes or something.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Top 10 least favorite reads of 2016 | That Book Lady Blog

  3. I have to admit once I see a movie After I read the book, I usually don’t remember too many book details. I actually must have blacked out the scene where Justin Theroux character did the brutal woods scene. It all was so gruesome and awful that my friend and I closed our eyes. I like Emily Blunt and also didn’t visualize the drawing mbeing more than a hobby! It just seemed to meander into the book (I am 61 so forgetful) and the movie seemed to make it her life’s dream. So, maybe I didn’t like either as well as I had hoped. It reminded me of the sick feeling at end of “Gone Girl” movie, we thought: “That baby is going to be a demon spawn!!”
    Thanks for your view on both book and film! Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

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