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The Girl On The Train review: An underwhelming adaptation that follows its own trajectory!

The final unraveling is sadly is too diluted to offer any thrill or excitement

Source: SIFY

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 2/5

Monday 01 March 2021

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Movie Title

The Girl On The Train review: An underwhelming adaptation that follows its own trajectory!

Director

Ribhu Dasgupta

Star Cast

Parineeti Chopra, Aditi Rao Hydari, Kriti Kulhari

Based on Hollywood thriller The Girl on the Train (2016) that was adapted from Paula Hawkins's novel of the same name, the Bollywood version sees Parineeti Chopra reprise the role formerly essayed by Emily Blunt.  

Set in London (like the book), the protagonist is a troubled alcoholic, coming to terms with her divorce. Mira (Chopra)’s daily train route passes by her old home where her ex-husband (Avinash Tiwari) now lives with his new wife. Mira voyeuristically keeps a tab on her ex-neighbour Nusrat (Aditi Rao Hydari), admiring how blissful her life appears. Through the train window, she sees Nusrat and wonders how anyone could be this happy.  

But when she spots Nusrat cheating on her husband, Mira realizes that their perfect wedded life was a façade much like her own marriage. Since Mira looked at Nusrat’s life a sign of hope and the symbol of an ideal life, this discovery leads to Mira having a drunken meltdown. The scene takes it too far when Mira’s ramblings turn into violent, hate-filled barrage (behaviour which is uncharacteristic as has been explained by an expert in the film).  

Discovering Nusrat’s infidelity, Mira’s past trauma of being cheated on by her ex-husband comes flooding back, and that coupled with an incoherence due to alcohol and amnesia, leads to an explosive combination.  

When Nusrat goes missing, Mira is one of the suspects. That’s when she brings her shrewd lawyer brain into action to find out what really happened.  

An Indian cop (Kirti Kulhari) gets working on the case interviewing suspects from Mira to Nusrat’s husband to her counsellor.  

After a long time, we see Parineeti Chopra relishing a significant, central role. With evocative brown eyes flashing through the heavy kohl, Chopra often comes close to convincing us of her character’s vulnerability and flaws. At other points, the act doesn’t come together for various reasons including tonal inconsistency, incongruous background songs, and over-the-top scenes.  

The make-up and styling separate the two phases of Mira’s life (romance and marriage where she is fresh-faced without heavy eye-make-up) and the alcohol-addiction phase (dark-toned clothes and heavy smoky eyes). The latter is effective but overdone to the point where it turns distracting.  

The Bollywood version follows the original story till about half-time, and then takes off on its own trajectory. The original focused mainly on the woman and her equation with her ex-husband and his new wife. The new version adds a lot more characters (too many) making the whole thing convoluted and underwhelming.  

Several pivotal scenes like Mira happening to meet people from her past and discovering some shocking details falls flat. Then there’s the familiar trope of a film set abroad (London, in this case), where everyone from the cops to the psychologist is Indian/Asian.  

Ultimately, as is customary for suspense thrillers, everything leads to the big reveal. And the final unraveling is sadly is too diluted to offer any thrill or excitement.  

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