Those who follow the Hollywood whodunits know about the film. Many like me are blissfully unaware of the tale and thus have a novelty factor coming their way. However, two hours of watching the Netflix presentation of a film that was initially designed for the theatres — you realise that either the script has been domesticated or our international influence is for all to see. In the world of cricket, we have left a great impact and are no longer global pushovers.
Perhaps our cinema too. Good or bad is an entirely different story.
Mira Kapoor (Parineeti Chopra), a practising advocate, makes a career choice of prosecuting a drug peddler and lives to pay the price. Mira has a nice marriage going till she becomes an alcoholic. Deserted in marriage, threatened in the profession with alcohol for company — everything comes crashing down.
She, however, lives her illusion by travelling in the local train every day to London. She fancies the life of a lady, Nusrat (Aditi Rao Hydari) she sees through the window of her travelling train. She builds an inexplicable appreciation for the person and her seemingly picture perfect life.
The film starts with a chase where you see Mira chasing Nusrat at the Greenwich Forest. Nusrat is killed. Circumstance point to Mira as the prime suspect. An alcoholic who also suffers from anterograde amnesia.
The investigating police officer (Kirti Kulhari) warns her to ‘remember’. This touches a raw chord. Things fall apart when in a grotesque version of the Arth scene, Mira finds her husband Shekar (Avinash Tiwari) cheating on her. The real goes crashing and the ideal crumbling.
Obviously, Mira has no motive to kill Nusrat. However, she is last seen at the scene of offence. Did something go fatally wrong in the woods? Was she killed with motive? The Girl on the Train offers interesting twists of desi drama in England and a finale that is worth the watch on the OTT.
Director Ribu Das Gupta tries his very best to make a hash of it all. For a good part of the narrative, Parineeti believes a mascara-smeared face highlighted with a blush is good acting as a harrowed alcoholic. Often reminiscent of the Ramsay house brand ambassador, she mistakes harrowed looks to good action. However, she is too good to let go of the opportunity.
She comes into her own and delivers. She is a talented star who surely deserves more at the box office. The rest of the cast is lackadaisical. Avinash Tiwari has the same expression that the corpse of Aditi has – dead pan. Aditi is her usual cosmetic self and that is what the role demands of her. Kirti Kulhari could have done far better.
All this notwithstanding, the twists in the whodunit ensure that this girl on the train is worth travelling with.