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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Girl On The Train to stream on Netflix: Know what Paula Hawkins’ book is all about

The psychological thriller is reliant on an unreliable narrator and plays with the perspectives of three women -- Rachel Watson, Anna Boyd, and Megan Hipwell

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 25, 2021 12:06:33 pm
parineeti chopra, parineeti chopra photos, parineeti chopra photos, parineeti chopra recent photos, indian express, indian express newsThe Girl on the Train actor has been consistently impressive with her fashion choices.. (Photo: PR Handout)

Parineeti Chopra-starrer The Girl On The Train is all set to stream on Netflix from February 26. Directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, it features an ensemble cast in keeping with the 2016 Emily Blunt-starrer of the same name. Both films, however, owe their origin to Paula Hawkins’ 2015 book.

The psychological thriller is reliant on an unreliable narrator and plays with the perspectives of three women — Rachel Watson, Anna Boyd, and Megan Hipwell. The novel centers around Rachel, an alcoholic, who is recovering from her broken marriage and addiction. Her condition causes her to forget what she does in the state of inebriation. Every day, she takes a train to London and passes by the house her former husband who now lives with his new family: wife Anna and daughter Evie.

In the midst of this journey, Rachel gets fixated with another couple. She names them “Jason” and “Jess” in her head, and for her, they represent a perfect relationship — one that Rachel missed out on and aspired to have.

However, in Hawkins’ universe things are seldom simple. One night after heavy drinking Rachel finds herself covered in blood, and at the same time, Megan Hipwell (Jess) goes missing. From here starts an unravelling of events and reconstruction of Rachel’s memories of that night while she gets questioned by the cops.

The book opened to rave reviews, with many comparing it to Stieg Larsson’s 2005 novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. A review in The Guardian praised the book and the reviewer Suzi Feay wrote, “Hawkins juggles perspectives and timescales with great skill, and considerable suspense builds up along with empathy for an unusual central character who does not immediately grab the reader. “Ingenious” twists usually violate psychological plausibility, as in Gone Girl. Hawkins’s Girl is a less flashy, but altogether more solid creation.”

Another review in NPR concluded that Hawkins seems to be paying tribute to Alfred Hitchcock. “Hawkins’ writing is excellent, and also cinematic, in the best possible way. Her novel doesn’t read (as many thrillers do) like a screenplay that’s been wrestled kicking and screaming into prose form. But the story, down to the title, is indisputably Hitchcockian, and in some scenes, Hawkins seems to be paying tribute to the director’s imagery in films like Strangers on a Train and Rear Window,” wrote book critic Michael Schaub.

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