Clip It: Each day, Jon Davis looks at the world of trailers, featurettes and clips and puts it all in perspective.
I've read the novel upon which this film is based. I'm telling this you because I can't live in a world where people don't know that I've read the source material for a movie or TV show. I'm one of those people. You want to talk Game of Thrones? Not anymore you don't. If you want to hit me up to discuss the upcoming Catcher in the Rye adaptation, you won't get two words in edgewise before I say “I-read-the-book-let-me-tell-you-why-I'm-so-smart.”
Everyone who read The Girl on the Train had just finished Gone Girl and said to whoever was next to them, “I need another mystery with an unreliable female narrator and I need it now!” So we were handed The Girl on the Train. And we devoured the novel in two days. Why did we rip through it so fast? You'd never know from this trailer.
The hook of The Girl on the Train is the lead character has a drinking problem. We see whatever she sees but because she blacks out a lot, we miss crucial bits of information that might help her uncover the mystery of what she saw from the train. As the protagonist fills in more blanks, we step closer and closer to unraveling the plot while also gaining more empathy for why she's such a hot mess.
The trailer is obtuse about this. As we've already established, I read the book, so I deserve a special prize. And besides that, I wonder whether the filmmakers wasted an opportunity to give the audience a sense of what makes this story compelling. Otherwise all we can glean is that it's about some random lady with general anxiety disorder who sees people doing it from her perch on a train and decides to investigate because she's Emily Blunt. That might feel like a big “eh” to some, so I encourage you to read the book. Become one of us!
Also: We all love Kanye, and the remix of “Heartless” is cool, but something about a murder in the lovely English countryside doesn't scream autotune to me.
Update: Unlike the book, the movie takes place outside of New York, not London. Not a big switch, plot wise. Also, Emily Blunt's character is still British. And the weather looks foggy like it's England. But it's not England. Will this subtle change transform this little movie into a box office smash? We'll find out!