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Book vs movie: reviewing The Girl on the Train

Skip+the+trip+to+the+movie+theater+for+this+one%21+In+Nina+Raman%27s+review+on+The+Girl+on+the+Train+by+Paula+Hawkins%2C+she+rates+the+novel+5%2F5+stars+and+the+adapted+motion+picture+film+1%2F5+stars.
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Book vs movie: reviewing The Girl on the Train

Skip the trip to the movie theater for this one! In Nina Raman's review on The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, she rates the novel 5/5 stars and the adapted motion picture film 1/5 stars.

Skip the trip to the movie theater for this one! In Nina Raman's review on The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, she rates the novel 5/5 stars and the adapted motion picture film 1/5 stars.

Nina Raman

Skip the trip to the movie theater for this one! In Nina Raman's review on The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, she rates the novel 5/5 stars and the adapted motion picture film 1/5 stars.

Nina Raman

Nina Raman

Skip the trip to the movie theater for this one! In Nina Raman's review on The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, she rates the novel 5/5 stars and the adapted motion picture film 1/5 stars.

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a 2015 best-seller novel that was adapted into a major motion picture film this past October 7th. The book and recently produced movie illustrate the very complicated lives of a drunken Rachel Watson, mother and mistress Anna Watson, and a missing Megan Hipwell. Without entirely realizing it, each woman’s life intertwines with the other’s, tying them to a major crime.

Rachel Watson has reached rock bottom in her life, because her ex-husband had an affair, and seeks solitude in gin and tonics. Described from the words that jump off of the thriller, the constant need for a drink kills the Rachel that her husband was once in love with. After being drunk one night, Rachel wakes up in her bed covered in bloody bruises to discover that a young woman named Megan Hipwell has gone missing, and she may have something to do with the crime. The problem is that she can’t remember.

Anna Watson, Rachel’s ex-husband’s new wife and former mistress, also plays a strong role in the novel. She is seen as the prime suspect in Rachel’s eyes, but tries to avoid Rachel since she constantly breaks into her house and threatens her child, because Rachel is still in love with her ex-husband, Tom.

In addition, Megan Hipwell is the girl who went missing. The mystery of where she went and why she is gone puzzles all characters in The Girl on the Train as they try and pin the blame for the missing person (and soon to be murder) on each main character. What the characters don’t know is that Megan’s murder will tie them together for the rest of their lives.

The Book: 5/5 stars

The New York Times Bestseller by Paula Hawkins proved to be a real page-turner. Written in the first person, each chapter switching character’s perspectives and time zones keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Hawkins’ writing style is mature, yet illustrative, as she uses each character’s actions to explain who they are without plainly stating it. The depiction of each character introduces the different points in life many people go through.

The drinking, the suspicion, and the fear is all real. Hawkins shows what it’s like to be a prime suspect for a crime, and how others react to one’s infidelities. Pressure can truly bring out the worst in people, and there is no better book to elucidate that than The Girl on the Train. Although it may be difficult for some readers to understand the constant character and time changes set by each chapter, the author made it easy to understand and shows where each woman was at in that point of their life.

The point in having the three main characters Rachel, Anna, and Megan is to show that small mistakes made in their lives can prove to be catastrophic. Even though the exposition in the beginning of the book takes a couple of chapters to reach the main plot, the plot rises as each page turns reaching the ultimate climax: when readers discover who the real murderer is. Paula Hawkins shows with her strong diction not only how easily someone can be suspected, but also how easily emotions can change from composure to rage. The reveal of the killer becomes the ultimate shock in the book, the falling action after pleasing readers with the ending.

The Girl on the Train is a great book for avid and maturing readers looking for thriller. This is a very adult book as the use of language and actions exhibited by characters can sometimes be very graphic. For anyone looking for a great thriller novel instead of a movie, this book is perfect.

The Movie: 1/5 stars

Although most readers are infuriated when movies change major things in the book, this movie proved to be the opposite. The movie directed by Tate Taylor tried to copy the same three character perspective switch exhibited by the chapters of the novel, but it didn’t flow as easily. Movies never exhibit perspective changes from different characters. Usually when it is adapted from a book that does follow this outline, it picks one character’s story to follow and interlaces it with the plot. This movie, however, laid each part out plainly and lazily, with no quality transitions.

It was almost as if I had paid $12 just to see the name “Rachel” written in bold on the theatre screen. Even though the movie is true to this part of the novel, it changes many other factors that do, in fact infuriate, readers. For example, the setting in the novel takes place in London, while the movie changes the setting to New York. Something as miniscule as this alters the whole viewing experience of excited fans, because every character that they visioned from the novel had changed just because the city did.

Minor characters like Kamal Abdic, Megan’s therapist, were supposed to be Middle Eastern, but were portrayed by a Venezuelan actor. It couldn’t have been that difficult to cast a Middle Eastern man to play this small role, but the fact that the director didn’t, irritates fans of the thriller.

Even major characters had changed in the movie. Megan, for instance, became more peculiar in the movie, and not in a good way. She had bizarre scenes in which had no relevance to the book, let alone the plot. Megan is supposed to suffer from anxiety; she doesn’t become bipolar. The movie changes her characterization completely, giving readers another reason to love the book even more.

The only reason for this movie to receive one star is due to Emily Blunt’s amazing portrayal of the lead, Rachel Watson. She exhibited Rachel’s small mannerisms perfectly, showing moviegoers how alcohol proved to affect her life like it did in the book.

 

Overall, The Girl on the Train is one story that should just be read. Save the $12 you were going to spend on the movie ticket, and buy the book instead.

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Book vs movie: reviewing The Girl on the Train