This movie received awful reviews and has only a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but I really liked the Paula Hawkins novel of the same name, so I decided to see it anyway. The film has a leisurely pace, but this is necessary to adequately develop the main characters. The book is complex in its character development, so I anticipated that it would be a difficult book to translate into film. Although the movie has a considerable amount of voice-over inner dialogue, I think the screenplay (by Erin Cressida Wilson) is a good one considering the challenging nature of the original material. If you’ve read the book, I think you will find the movie interesting, and, if you haven’t, it’s still an intriguing murder mystery.
Rachel Wilson (Emily Blunt)’s life has fallen apart. Due to a tragedy, she winds up a severe alcoholic. Her husband, Tom (Justin Theroux), frustrated and disgusted with her, has an affair with Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), whom he eventually marries. Tom now lives with Anna and their baby in Rachel’s former home located in a New York suburb near the railroad tracks. A few houses away from Tom’s live a young couple, Megan and Scott Hipwell (Haley Bennett and Luke Evans), who appear to be the “embodiment of love” to Rachel. She has numerous fantasies about who they are and their marital bliss. Rachel makes round trips on the train Mon.-Fri. hoping to catch a glimpse of them. When drunk, Rachel has black-outs and doesn’t remember what she has done, but sometimes she has been violent. She even has murderous fantasies towards Anna, who is not nearly as content as she initially appears. Megan, who also works as a part-time nanny for Anna, is tortured by her inner demons, so she starts therapy with Dr. Kamal Abdi (Edgar Ramirez).
One day, Megan disappears and her body is discovered a few days later. All of the above characters might have killed her for various reasons that are gradually revealed. It’s an interesting story, exposing the seedy underbelly of suburbia, kind of a “Desperate Housewives” on steroids, but without the humor.
It will work fine as a rental, but if you’re in the mood for a murder mystery, it’s a pretty good one.