Monday, December 05, 2016
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN(WRECK) -- my review
One of the film’s producers was discussing the evolution of the book becoming a movie. There was studio interest even before the novel was released. Now I suspect this was the author of the article speaking, not a quote from the producer. But in talking about Dreamworks snatching up the project this was the explanation:
Like everyone else in Hollywood at the time, the studio was seeking the next GONE GIRL, another female-driven mystery told by an unreliable narrator.
Wow. Talk about reducing art to formula.
And that, friends and neighbors, is how Hollywood thinks. Reducing someone's narrative to a silly logline. Another female-driven mystery told by an unreliable narrator.
Really? THAT’S what you got out of it?
“Let’s see a movie tonight. What are you in the mood for, honey?”
“I dunno. Something with an unreliable female narrator.”
“You’re in luck!”
And as they say, “Imitation is the sincerest form of Hollywood.”
The end result, in the case of THE GIRL ON A TRAIN, was a movie you’ve already seen thirty times. It wants to be BASIC INSTINCT, it wants to be BODY HEAT, it sure wants to be GONE GIRL. It's none of them.
I hadn’t read the book but halfway through the movie I completely figured out the mystery. What I didn’t figure was how utterly absurd the climax would be.
Hollywood needs to make movies based on original ideas and great stories regardless of whether it’s male or female driven, and whether the narrator is unreliable or not.