THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN REVIEW

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Director: Ribhu Dasgupta

Starring: Parineeti Chopra, Aditi Rao Hydari, Kirti Kulhari

Written by: Gaurav Shukla, Ribhu Dasgupta & Abhijeet Khuman

Streaming on: Netflix

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is based on the book of the same name, written by Paula Hawkins. The book was first adapted in Hollywood and the film was well appreciated by the audiences. Few years later, the film was finally made in Bollywood and has been released on Netflix. At the center of the film is Mira Kapoor (Parineeti Chopra), who once was a feisty lawyer but is now spiraling under the trauma of losing her child, her husband and also her career. A car accident has left her with a rare form of amnesia and she slowly turns into a massive alcoholic. She travels on the Redbridge-to-Greenwich train route every day. Once, she spots Nusrat John (Aditi Rao Hydari) having a wonderful life with her husband in their home, everything was perfect for them, they had everything that Mira lost. This envy slowly turned into obsession. Till one day, Mira finds that Nusrat has been murdered and Mira was in close proximity to her at the time of the murder and hence becomes the lead suspect. She cannot remember anything owing to her amnesia. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

The film was expected to be Indianized for the audiences, despite being on an international platform. Despite having a novel, a film made on the story already, the makers yet could not get it quite right. Even after finishing the film, it didn’t quite hit the mark. The film is not an exact scene by scene replica and the plot points and a few things have been changed, but not necessarily it makes the film better. The characters are poorly written. The film is fast paced and gripping in places, but still lacking. Sometimes a little subtlety and restraint is what can make a huge difference.

Technically, the film is decent. Cinematography by Tribhuvan Babu Sadineni is good and simple. Editing by Sangeeth Prakash Varghese is sans complaint; the film’s pacing is great. The production design and the costume design had a scope for improvement. The writing is where the film really lags, especially when it comes to the characters. They seem to be marred with stereotypes. The music is fine but then again a thriller is better without music, unless it is really taking the film forward. It was avoidable in this film. Although, the background score is great.

Performance wise the film is good. Parineeti Chopra has a good onscreen presence and she gives a fantastic performance, although it feels she goes a little overboard in a few scenes. Aditi Rao Hydari is great as well and one wishes she could have had a bigger role. Kirti Kulhari gave her best but the performance felt a little underwhelming, reason for that could be the poorly written character. Avinash Tiwary gives a fine performance. The rest of the cast offer able support.

Ribhu Dasgupta doesn’t quite get the screenplay right nor does he get the execution of it right. Overall, his direction is not upto the mark either.

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