I love thrillers. I have always admitted that this is my favorite genre as well. Hence, a film needs to have some really problematic points or issues in the narrative to not find my affection. No wonder, I started playing The Girl On The Train as well with quite high expectations. After all, the promo had given a very good idea of an intriguing thriller in the offering with its plot point, that of a girl on the train getting attached to the life of another girl whom she observes every day, being really exciting. Moreover, the color palette promises a classy outing too.
Unfortunately, The Girl On The Train turns out to be a film that is technically impressive for sure, but leaves you with more questions than answers when the end credits start rolling. Of course, many a times when questions arise at the end of the film’s play, it is interesting as well since it sets you thinking. However, when you are more confused or even indifferent towards the twists in the tale and as a result you don’t even care much about what led to the proceedings in the narrative, it is never a good sign.
That’s what happens with this Ribhu Dasgupta directed film where you are connected to the characters and the life right till the pre-climax. However, the moment the climactic twist in the tale arrives with a big reveal, you are more bewildered than shock, even as you end up exclaiming – ‘Now what was that’.
Not that the film didn’t have some pain points in its first one hour. Really, it turns out to quite dark and depressing for most of its playing time. A murder takes place [Aditi Rao Hydari], a suspect is out there in the open [Parineeti Chopra] and then immediately in the flashback a whirlwind romance leads to quick-fire marriage as well [Parineeti Chopra and Avinash Tiwary]. However, things start going downhill soon after when an incident in the life of this couple leads to not just a complete breakdown but also Parineeti headed towards being an alcoholic.
From here, and then the next 30-40 minutes, you go through some real dark times along with the character as all eyes are on Parineeti for committing Aditi’s murder with the three woman in the proceedings, Kirti Kulhari, joining the dots and finding quite a few evidences that can prove beyond doubt that who is the real culprit. However, even in establishing this layer, Ribhu Dasgupta surprisingly keeps the proceedings way too dark, when a stylized treatment with an uplifting narrative could have led to a far better edge of the seat entertainment.
Things do turn better in the second half when further twists in the tale lead to some astonishing facts coming out in open. Suddenly, what was seen in the first half starts making more sense, and you do start getting more and more engaged into the proceedings. However, what still stays on to be really unconvincing is the motive of quite a few characters and also sheer ease with which they start getting to know the truth. Worse, the kind of coincidences in the plot are such that they could have worked in a ‘masala’ entertainer but not a realistic thriller.
As for the final jolt, it comes more to the viewer than the character as the twist in the tale makes one wonder how it was all put together on paper, and whether several loopholes and cinematic liberties not being looked at, which were visible from a distance itself. Yes, it’s a major twist but belonging to the kind that is entirely unconvincing, hence resulting in The Girl On The Train turning out to be a dissatisfying experience.
The one who does satisfy as an actress though is Parineeti Chopra. This could well go down as her career best performance as she shows an entirely different facet of her acting skills here. As someone who is deranged and disturbed, while being in the quest of truth, there is so much that she says with her expressions and eyes, even when she is not mouthing her dialogues. As for Aditi Rao Hydari, she has played a damsel in distress quite a few times and here too she is in a repeat mode. Kirti Kulhari is in a new avtar in a brief role. Avinash Tiwary is decent.
Watch it only to see how Parineeti can enact a really difficult character but don’t expect much from the film as a whole.