8 Ways The Girl On The Train Is Just A Lazy Gone Girl

8. The Confusion Over The Protagonist’s Guilt

20th Century Fox/Universal Pictures

One of the biggest parallels between the two films is that they both spend a lot of time on the ambiguity over whether our protagonist is actually the murderer. Now this is a very good thing, allowing a fresh take on the missing-person genre and going into the mindset of those closest to the victim. The distinction here is how it’s presented.

With Ben Affleck's Nick Dunne it’s a complex moral question, because, while everything we see of him after Amy’s disappearance points towards a grief-ridden husband, we never actually saw him before those events, and are led along by what turn out to be misleading flashbacks. We don’t think he’s capable of it, but there’s nothing to suggest he didn't.

The Girl With The Train not only manufactures the audience’s perspective, but also the protagonist’s, using Emily Blunt's Rachel’s alcoholism as a convenient narrative gap that isn’t filled until the plot demands it. It’s apparent from her waking up all bloodied she saw something, but while Blunt can go all wide-eyed, it's obvious she was a direct participant.


Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.