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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Okay, who's been into the cookie jar?

The Girl on the Train (2016) on IMDb

Plot Overview

A troubled alcoholic Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) regularly rides the Metro-North from West­chester County to Manhattan and back every work day even though she'd been terminated from her public service job due to her drinking bouts. Her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux)'s alimony checks pay for her ride to nowhere, whose house in Ardsley-on-Hudson they'd once shared but it's now shared by Tom with his new wife Anna Watson (Rebecca Ferguson) and baby Evie. Anna was the real estate agent who helped Tom and Rachel pick out the house. Rachel marks an ‘X’ on the steamed-up window of the train as it stops at a customary signal, putting her directly across from her old house.

Being a curious sort her attention drifted to a beautiful woman Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett) who lives two doors down seemingly happily with her buff husband Scott Hipwell (Luke Evans.) “As the months went past,” Rachel tells us, “she became important to me. She's what I lost. She's every­thing I wanted to be.”

One Friday in July, though, she spies Megan spooning with another man Dr. Kamal Abdic (Édgar Ramírez) and she thinks, “Who is that man? What's she doing? She's throwing it all away.” After hitting the sauce all day long, Rachel deboards the train at their stop to give the girl what for. She awakes bruised and bleeding having suffered an alcoholic black­out and loss of memory. The papers report, "Ardsley Woman Missing." The police accustomed to reports of this drunk woman haunting her old neighbor­hood shine on her tips (“There are a lot of loose ends that suggest some­thing, but they don't add up to much”) until Rachel visits Scott with her suppositions and then the two of them begin to look like suspects.


“The Girl On the Train” is reminiscent of the 1966 song by Gerry and the Pace­makers: “Girl on a Swing.”

I stand out of sight
And watch as the light from the sun
Shines through her hair.

From yonder she came.
I don't know her name.
Still I love that girl on a swing.

Rachel doesn't know her idol's name either, not at first, but she's fixated on her, from her perch on the train. The material of the movie, trans­ferred from the popular British book The Girl On the Train, is more in line with the popular English Beatles' 1966 song: “Eleanor Rigby” about “all the lonely people.”

Father McKenzie wipes off the dirt
From his hands as he walks from the grave.
No one was saved.

The lot of these women in the movie is pretty much in line with another 1966 pop song, Sandy Posey, “Born a Woman.”

It makes no difference if you're rich or poor
Or if you're smart or dumb.
A woman's place in this old world
Is under some man's thumb.
And if you're born a woman,
You're born to be hurt.
You're born to be stepped on, lied to, cheated on,
And treated like dirt.

The movie's central character is the girl on the train. As the Beatles sang,

Eleanor Rigby, picks up the rice
In the church where a wedding has been,
Lives in a dream.
Waits at the window, wearing the face
That she keeps in a jar by the door,
Who is it for?

It's a pointless dream life Rachel has been living, getting ready for work each morning when she has no job, staring out the window at her fantasy family. If there's any point to the movie, it probably has some­thing to do with another 1966 hit, “In Our Time” sung by Nancy Sinatra.

People used to bill and coo,
But that don't make it with you,
Coz there's other things we do
In our time, baby
In our time, yeah.

The way the women treat infant babies enters the plot in a big way. A flash­back shows us the baby disaster that happened in Megan's past, leaving her averse to working with infants—she's a nanny—and in need of a shrink. She and Anna together, though, make a good team, Megan taking care of the drudge work and Anna billing and cooing with Evie. Then Megan quits to pursue her art career. When Rachel muses that she can hardly remember when she last had a meaningful inter­action with another human, the action cuts immediately to a scene of a woman (Rachel Christopher) with a child on the train passing her baby to Rachel to be billed and cooed over.

According to (Eccl. 10:2), “A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.” The wise woman is adroit in handling, say, an infant, the foolish woman gauche. This movie also shows an application to handling a common kitchen utensil: Rachel makes a stab at it, but Anna gets the job done.

(Eccl. 10:3) “Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.” When Rachel “walketh by the way” of her old neighbor­hood, she suffers a black­out in one situation and trying to piece together what happened she announces her foolishness to Det. Sgt. Riley (Allison Janey), the neighbors, and the press. In another situation she puts the baby down instead of handing it directly to Anna, breaking the billing and cooing bond needed to keep the kid quiet.

“In Our Time” deals with women losing their good sense, especially when wandering outside their home sphere. At the time of this movie's release, 7 October 2016 (USA), we're smack dab in the middle of a presidential election news cycle, where billing and cooing allegedly gone off track is more applied to Donald Trump and various women who once crossed his path—Bob Hope, say, never had any difficulties when he bussed the show girls. All we can say is Trump's opponent didn't do much better if we count her husband whom she covered for, and for that matter women's lot with men in general is not all that great, irrespective of the Trumps of this world. My sympathies are extended, but one presidential election is not going to change the world except perhaps in the Supreme Court Justices appointed who protect our religious liberties that give us a fighting chance.

In this movie when Rachel is forced to move, she throws a bunch of her stuff in a suitcase, including her Bible which presumably she reads. How­ever, she doesn't treat it as an object of great respect, reminding me of the way Protestants denigrate the book of Ecclesiastes, quoted above and applied to women and their babies. The same passages applicable to men gone off track when relating to women can be found in my review of the 1998 French movie “Sombre.”

Production Values

This film, “” was directed by Tate Taylor. It was based the 2015 book, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Its screen­play was written by Erin Cressida Wilson. It stars Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, and Rebecca Ferguson. Megan was played very well by Bennett. Each one of the three main female parts and three main male parts, played by Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, and Edgar Ramirez, was dispatched with aplomb. This film excels in its performances, especially from Emily Blunt and Haley Bennett. Blunt does a note­worthy job as Rachel capturing a mess of a woman. Allison Janney, Laura Prepon, and Lisa Kudrow also play their small supporting parts well.

MPAA rated it R for violence, sexual content, language and nudity. A main draw­back is the bland cinema­tog­raphy. Another is the many leaps in time­frame that confuse the plot. The pace is slow, the ambiance dark. The mystery seethes below the surface with­out any real kick. Danny Elf­man's music is so so.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

I liked this movie as a film buff who enjoys most anything on the big screen. You'll most likely like it if there's some­thing in it that draws you to it in the first place. Just don't expect to be pleasantly surprised from one you didn't anticipate enjoying.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Better than watching TV. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: Four stars out of five.