Watching The Girl On The Train Watching The Girl…

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.

Film: Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl @

Here’s a great big slice of genre cinema for you.  Based on the pulp novel by Gillian Flynn (here adapting her own work for the screen), Fincher has delivered his most funest movie since Panic Room (2002); it’s trashy, quite glorious and, at moments, even hilarious.

In removing about 100 pages of content Flynn has sharpened the book’s focus and created a more compelling protagonist / antagonist battle.  Granted, some may feel that in ditching one character’s inner monologues the film pushes you to one side of the fence but, to counter that, the film also frees up a strain of black humour and lunacy that allows another character, and the story, to truly soar.

This is great fun in the same hokey strain as the rather excellent Stoker (2013) and, because it’s got that ‘quality’ sheen, you can impress your friends or editor with highbrow commentary on something that wasn’t a chore to watch… be sure to use the word ‘zeitgeist’.

Highly Recommended.