Starring Parineeti Chopra in a role of an alcoholic woman whose world is slipping out of her hands, The Girl on The Train emerges as the new adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ best-selling book with the same title. Directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, who earlier proved his directing abilities with Amitabh Bachchan starrer Teen, the film is a lopsided version of the otherwise superbly thrilling storyline that was also told by Emily Blunt in the Hollywood adaptation of the book. Also Read - Coolie No. 1 Review: No Comedy-No Chemistry in David Dhawan's Below-Average Remake
In The Girl on The Train, an Indian couple grows out of love – while Shekhar (Avinash Tiwary) follows his life, Mira (Parineeti) is stuck in the past and after suffering a miscarriage, she has become bitter in life – vodka and wine are her only comfort. The other thing that keeps her ‘stationed’ in life is her regular train journey where she looks through her old-happy home across the tracks and sees the other woman, Nusrat (Aditi Rao Hydari) leading a happy life – reliving the moments that once she adored. But the day Mira sees Nusrat with another man, finding comfort in his arms while standing on the balcony which is visible from inside the train, she loses her cool. She writes ‘BITCH’ on the bathroom mirror of a pub and records a video of herself wishing to kill Nusrat. That night itself, Nusrat’s body is found in the woods. The only problem is: Mira doesn’t remember what happened that night because she also has amnesia that is becoming more aggressive from severe alcohol intake. Also Read - Laxmii Movie Review: Less Entertainment, More Stereotyping; Trans Community Deserves Better
The story that looks so intriguing while reading confuses you on-screen. So when one makes a film out of a book and a popular one, half of the job is already done. Performance and execution are the only things left and The Girl on The Train fails in both areas. 100 brownie points for deciding on Parineeti’s deranged look – with a giant wound on the forehead, the unkempt voluminous hair, and the heavily smudged kohl, but what about exploring so many angles in the story that could have fleshed out an intrepid narrative – domestic violence, infidelity, depression, harassment, alcohol addiction? The back-and-forth of visuals from the past and present lead the viewer to more confusion in an already groggy film. Also Read - Mirzapur 2 Review: There's More to it Than Just Bhaukaal, Rasika Dugal is Star
Hawkins’ book had established how her protagonist sees her alcoholism as a problem, and after that night, she decides to work on herself with the help of her roommate. The warmth and support of her roommate never came like an afterthought in the story. However, in the film, the makers found the insertion of random Punjabi songs a better idea than giving Mira’s roommate – her only friend – something to do, apart from joining her at a pub in having vodka shots. Parineeti’s performance in the film is another letdown. It could only be us but the Parineeti from Ishaqzaade or in the wonderfully believable role of Mita from Hasee Toh Phasee has gone missing. The Girl on The Train doesn’t help in finding her. It’s good to see the actor choosing roles that no more see her in a quirky, bubbly avatar but she lacked the emotional depth of playing an emotionally rotten woman. Her pain didn’t seem convincing. Her journey didn’t take us anywhere. And how can you believe a woman who’s telling her story in Hindi at an all-foreigner club where even her doctor is British (considering the story is set in London).
The film tries to represent different communities in the story with the names Nusrat and Dalbir Kaur Bagga, the no-nonsense inspector, and the white photographer, but all these efforts go in vain when things don’t add up. No matter how hard you try, you don’t get yourself to empathised with Nusrat or feel Mira’s pain. If anything at the end, The Girl on The Train looks like the story of Parineeti finally choosing the right product for her eyes that no longer smudges or makes her look like a walking zombie with a hip flask in hand.
Give it a miss, even the ardent Parineeti fans! Ratings:⭐1/2