The Girl On The Train Hindi Movie Review

Feature Film | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 1h 52min
The Girl on The Train is a straightforward Netflix thriller with tiresome contrivances that robs the film of any sort of authenticity.
Feb 28, 2021 By Sreejith Mullappilly

Parineeti Chopra is a trier, and I do not mean that in a positive or negative sense. In Netflix's new film 'The Girl on The Train', she plays a lawyer turn alcoholic turn amnesiac and possible eyewitness to murder or even the murderer itself. Her character Mira Kapoor goes through a failed marital relationship and an accident that leaves her mentally crippled. She can form new memories but cannot recollect all the old ones, says her mental health doctor. It is a case of amnesia.

Anyhow, she remembers the location of her old house so well that she knows it runs parallel to a railway track. So, she takes a train every day to see the house to try and recollect things. There, she sees a woman, Aditi Rao Hydari's Nusrat. Even from a speedily moving train, she sees the kind of things that an average alcoholic cannot spot. One wonders how Mira can see it all despite all the Vodka drinking that she does here. Even for a sober person, I would assume that takes some doing.

For an alcoholic, Mira can also imagine what Nusrat's life would be like and that too from a moving train. Perhaps it would have been a better idea to make Mira a writer instead of a lawyer. A lawyer is someone who needs validation for everything; Mira is more of an imaginative person. Anyhow, Nusrat's death is not her imagination. Nusrat is the woman she is suspected of killing in an earlier sequence (the film is told in a non-linear fashion).

A few minutes into the film, we realize that it is either about an unreliable narrator with a big secret, or an innocent person on the run straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock film. Most Hitchcock movies are about an innocent person suspected for murder who runs away from chasing cops. Does that mean Mira is the real killer? Or, is there someone else with a hidden secret in plain sight?

At the start of this wishy-washy film, I wondered whether it is challenging the validity of Murphy's Law. The acting from the main actors is so ordinary. We spent most of the time with Chopra as Mira. She is mostly posturing here and trying desperately to make her character believable. Director Ribhu Dasgupta should cop much of the blame for Chopra's performance.

But the good thing is that she tries, which is appropriate in a film where the protagonist is also trying to make sense of an event. The other main actors are Kulhari as well as Avinash Tiwary as Mira's husband Shekhar. Tiwary is basically filling the role here as there is little out of the ordinary about his performance or the character. On the other hand, Kulhari seems uncomfortable about playing the kind of role that she is not quite up for.

The Girl on the Train is based on a Paula Hawkins novel. There is a deliberate attempt of pleasing the NRI audience here, with elaborate framing of foreign locales, as well as sad Punjabi and Hindi songs at inappropriate places.

Usually, in a thriller like this, anything that can go wrong will and does go wrong. But thankfully, it does not prove Murphy's Law right (pun intended). Something is redeeming about the climax, and cheesy as it may be, it is one that a sucker for whodunits can appreciate. At least, the plot is easy to follow and there are no loose ends.

Sreejith Mullappilly