Available on: Netflix
Mira Kapoor (Parineeti Chopra) finds herself in a tight spot when Inspector Kaur (Kirti Kulhari), a cop who is investigating murder case of a young woman, shoots a bunch of questions at her. The needle of suspicion points at our protagonist, who somehow manages to handle the situation. As a parting shot, Kaur gives her a piece of advice, "Do yourself a favour. Remember? Try to recall."
As Parineeti Chopra's character sets out to find the missing pieces of her life, you find yourself repeating Kaur's words everytime the film loses its track.
What's Yay: Aditi Rao Hydari, a couple of scenes
What's Nay: Screenplay, Plot twist
Amid the sound of a moving train and a sombre background music, a woman is chased by a hoodied-figure in the midst of the woods. She stumbles, picks herself up and tries to frantically escape from her attacker. The petrified lady seeks refuge behind a tree, only to find her assailant standing in front of her. Cut to we see a bruised Mira Kapoor (Parineeti Chopra) standing in the middle of a railway platform, her eyes suggesting that there's more to this story.
Mira Kapoor and her husband Shekhar (Avinash Tiwary)'s happy world comes crashing down after the former suffers a miscarriage in an accident. Mira takes to booze like water, and Avinash finds solace in the arms of another woman and ties the knot with her.
An amnesic, divorcee and alcoholic, Mira soon gets fixated on life of a perfect couple, Nushrat (Aditi Rao Hydari) and Anand from afar, whom she ogles everyday from the window of a train. "She's everything, I lost," Mira candidly confesses at one point. She imagines them existing in a state of bliss, until she comes across something that shatters her fantasies, and forces her to confront some ugly truths about her own life.
Ribhu Dasgupta's The Girl On The Train is an adaptation of Paula Hawkins' 2015 bestseller novel of the same name. Unfortunately, this Parineeti Chopra-starrer has more misses than hits; blame it on the flaccid screenplay. The narrative lacks the grip that a slow-burn murder mystery is supposed to have. The writing isn't sharp enough to keep your eyes glued to the screen. Also, the twist that Ribhu Dasgupta throws in for the Indian audience comes across forced and leaves you disappointed.
Parineeti Chopra's attempt to showcase emotions ranging from betrayal, agony and ravages of the body and the mind gets drowned in her raccoon eyes (smudged mascara), and that's one of the most distracting thing about this murder-mystery. Nevertheless, the actress gets her shining moments towards the end, but by then, it's just too late!
Aditi Rao Hydari as the ethereal beauty with her own 'secrets' adds some element of mystery to the plot. Kirti Kulhari as the cop exudes power in a scene or two. Avinash Tiwary puts up a good show.
Cinematography plays an important role when it comes to building up an eerie feeling in a murder mystery. But, Tribhuvan Babu Sadineni's unnecessary tight close-up shots of Parineeti in a few scenes spoils the show. Sangeeth Varghese's editing is taut.
Parineeti Chopra's version of 'Matlabi Yariyan' stands out in the music album. The rest of the songs are passable.
In one of the scenes, a drunk Mira expresses a violent fantasy about killing one of the characters in the film, to which, her friend tells her, "Don't do anything stupid, you will regret it." That's exactly what we feel like wanting to tell filmmaker Ribhu Dasgupta after he serves us this train-wreck of an adaptation.
We give 2.5 stars out of 5 to Parineeti Chopra-starrer The Girl On The Train.