‘The Girl on the Train’ is kept on track by Emily Blunt’s performance

“The Girl on the Train” is based on the 2015 page-turning mystery by the British author Paula Hawkins. Last fall’s movie, adapted from the novel and starring Emily Blunt, never quite gets up to speed but it does roll by at a decent clip.

The best thing about the book is that by writing in the voice of an unreliable narrator, Rachel, Hawkins was able to disguise the plot twists — as convoluted as they might be.

The film, directed by Tate Taylor, hits some bumps along the way translating Rachel’s thoughts into voiceovers by Blunt. Nevertheless, when the actress is onscreen, she holds your attention.

The story revolves around Rachel, an alcoholic who was once married to Tom (Justin Theroux), who’s now married to Anna (Rebecca Ferguson). The couple now have a baby.

Rachel takes a commuter train each day into New York City, taking short nips from a thermos and staring out the window, passing by Tom and Anna’s house and taking notes about their lives. She has also noticed a couple that lives nearby — Megan (Haley Bennett) and Scott (Luke Evans), who she fantasizes have a perfect marriage because she always sees them in an amorous situation.

Until one day, that is. It then she sees Megan with another man. When later she reads that Megan is missing, Rachel feels compelled to solve the mystery. Of course, her drinking problem poses problems, and she ends up revealing things about herself she has kept hidden.

As the complications mount, Taylor sometimes has trouble making smooth transitions, but Blunt’s fine performance helps give him a pass. She is such a relatable presence onscreen that it’s impossible not to root for Rachel, even as sloshed as she gets.

That will bring you along to the film’s loopy ending, which you will want to wait for.



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