So maybe I watched this one too soon after seeing the recent Brian De Palma documentary De Palma (2015) after watching a run of De Palma movies. Maybe I’m too big a fan of the 90’s films where Micheal Douglas’ manhood (mental and physical) and some shlocky plotting act as a gateway for a really interesting discussion about gender roles and machismo, or any one of a number of filmmakers who used genre to make us think and talk.
The Girl on the Train (2016), whilst being a decent film is perhaps a little too ‘decent’ for it’s own good. Despite a cast that’s game there isn’t enough fun or provocation within the film to get it over the hill of the final act revelations. Recent thrillers like Side Effects (2013) and Gone Girl (2014) knew that they were indecent and just went for it as the directors had the skill to play with the form. The Girl on the Train seems a bit preoccupied with ‘quality’ to really play any games… which is a real pity as there is so much fun to be had with the way that ‘story’ and viewing are placed front and centre.
It should have been wittier and it’s very telling that the only conversations I’ve had about the film concern it’s structure.