Movie: The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train Cast: Parineeti Chopra, Kirti Kulhari, Aditi Rao Hydari, Avinash Tiwary, Tota Roy Chowdhury
The Girl on the Train Director: Ribhu Dasgupta
Streaming On: Netflix
Bollywood has a rich and proud tradition of dishing out several edge-of-the-seat, suspense-laden thrillers. Teesri Mazil (1966), Ittefaq (1969), Kaun (1999), Dhund (1973), Andhadhun (2018), Johnny Gaddar (2007), Badlapur (2015), Khamosh (1986), Detective Byomkesh Bakshi (2015), Talvar (2015), Kaabil (2017), Kahaani (2012), Ek Hasina Thi (2004), A Wednesday (2008), Aamir (2008), Deewangee (2002), Darr (1993), Baazigy (1993), Aitbaar (1985), Kanoon (1960), Woh Kaun Thi (1964), Gumnaam (1965) are the ones that immediately come to mind. So, does Director Ribhu Dasgupta's The Girl on the Train, starring Parineeti Chopra, Kirti Kulhari, Aditi Rao Hydari and Avinash Tiwary join this esteemed list of Bollywood thrillers? Unfortunately, thought it's not all doom and gloom, it doesn't even come close to the aforementioned movies.
Scroll down for my full The Girl on the Train review...
What's it about
Based on Paula Hawkins' 2015 best-selling novel of the same name, The Girl on the Train focuses on an alcoholic, divorci lawyer, Mira Kapoor (
Parineeti Chopra), who's forgone her practice after suffering a miscarriage in a brutal accident, resulting from the aftermath of a case she won. While picking up the pieces shambles of her life, she gets embroiled in a murder investigation of a woman she had become fixated with.
Check out the The Girl on the Train trailer here... VIDEO
The final act of The Girl on the Train, constituting 20-25 minutes, is what really elevates the Netflix film from its doldrums. A couple of very good twists, including a totally unexpected climax, where the real killer is revealed, take you completely by surprise, especially considering what hokum preceded it. Director Ribhu Dasgupta (Yudh, Te3n, Bard of Blood) makes some shrewd and welcome changes from the 2016
Emily Blunt starrer (I haven't read Paula Hawkins' book, so I wouldn't know what's been changed from the original source material), that grab your attention before it's too late. Coming to the performances, it's only Aditi Rao Hydari who managed to slightly impress by brining the right amount of sensuality to a role that demands it. On the technical side, Sunil Nigvekar's production design does a fair job in creating the right milieu for different scenes as per the requirement of the story.
The biggest drawback of The Girl on the Train is its performances — Parineeti Chopra goes overboard while hamming her part,
Kirti Kulhari comes across as a cop from Sion-Koliwada rather than the UK (must be the brief she was given as it's an anomaly to see her missing her mark), and Avinash Tiwary doesn't evoke the emotions required of him (revealing what those emotions are would be giving away spoilers). If the acting was half-decent it may have compensated for the lackluster direction through two-thirds of the Netflix movie, where unnecessary songs, highlighted by atrocious music, disrupt the flow of an already lumbering narrative; a lack of buildup sets the mystery off on a very pedestrian path; a lack of vitality to the proceedings makes you fight the urge of skipping forward; and a lack of thrill or suspense makes you question why this has been peddled as a thriller.
Compounding matters further are Sangeeth Varghese's amateur-hour editing, Tribhuvan Babu Sadineni's cardboard-edque camerawork and a background score that miserably fails to compensate for a thriller, which, as mentioned earlier, sorely lacks thrills for the most part.
The Girl on the Train would've worked brilliantly as a short film, comprising the final 20 minutes or so. Honestly, the rest of the Parineeti Chopra starrer largely fails to that point to eke out any thrill or suspense, simply dragging till the good bits finally arrive. I'm going with 2/5 stars.
2 out of 5
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