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Review: Parineeti Chopra’s ‘The Girl On the Train’ Derails

Stutee Ghosh
·3-min read

Based on Paula Hawkin’s bestselling novel by the same name, which in turn was adapted into a movie starring Emily Blunt in 2016, this Hindi remake of The Girl on the Train, directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, takes the original source material and adds an extra layer of intrigue and drama to pitch it in the thriller genre. The only problem - not one of those twists and turns seem convincing . In fact it dilutes the overall impact of the original, which focused on the psychological trauma, emotional abuse and gaslighting that the victim was unwittingly surrendering to. The desi version appears to be a choppy, disjointed murder mystery that leaves us with very little to cheer for.

Parineeti Chopra in <i>The Girl on the Train.</i>
Parineeti Chopra in The Girl on the Train.

Mira Kapoor (Parineeti Chopra ) once a happily married, much in love London-based lawyer, is now a wastrel, spending her time drinking, obsessing over her ex-husband and his new wife. Mira clearly needs help. Her alcoholism is out of control, her work has suffered, her mental and physical health is at a low. The only “routine” that brings her some solace is observing a woman on a balcony who she sees every day as she takes the train. She begins to fantasise about her, and slowly gets consumed by her. For Mira, this nameless girl, who she sees happily standing at the balcony, has everything that she has lost, leading a life that could have been hers. But then one day she sees her with a man and Mira suspects her of having an extra-marital affair. Mira’s almost compulsive need to stop her and the seething rage she feels rising inside her eventually land her in more trouble. She finds herself entangled in a murder investigation and things spiral out of control.

Parineeti Chopra, trying to piece together details in her head, is positioned in a very high-pitched shrill territory. She is a woman tormented but rather than a more inward look at her pitiable state all we get is the smudged mascara “look”. Her inability to let go of her past is more “shown” than felt, thus diluting the impact. Kriti Kulhari in a distinct turbaned appearance is given a character with such dodgy motivations that one doesn’t know what to make of her. It’s a pity that her talent is almost wasted here. Avinash Tiwary isn’t allowed to explore the whole range of his character because the moment he enters the more darker territories, the screenplay is in a tearing hurry to throw another “twist” at us, which is just exasperating. The only one who makes us invest in her story and care for her is the girl we see from afar, a solid Aditi Rao Hydari making the most of her sparsely written role.

Aditi Rao Hydari in <i>The Girl on the Train.</i>
Aditi Rao Hydari in The Girl on the Train.

The Hindi remake of The Girl on the Train proves to be quite the train wreck. A more faithful adaptation of the original source material might have kept us hooked, because here with the contrived ending and the implausible twists, the whole emotional impact of the story gets derailed.

Rating: 1.5 Quints out of 5

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