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Girl on the Train, The (DVD Review)

17 Apr, 2010 By: Angelique Flores

Prebook 4/20/10; Street 5/18/10
Box Office $0.15 million
$27.99 DVD
Not rated.
In French with English subtitles.
Stars Émilie Dequenne, Catherine Deneuve, Michel Blanc.

The Girl on the Train is loosely based on true events that occurred in Paris in 2004, when a young woman lied about being attacked on a train.

After a young woman named Jeanne finds her boyfriend, Franck, stabbed after a drug deal gone wrong, she acts out by filing a false report with police claiming that she was violently attacked by a group of anti-Semites. Her mother and the son of a family friend figure out the truth, which she eventually confesses.

Don’t look to this movie for a detailed historical account of the true-life event or for any answers to Jeanne’s stunt. The film offers little explanation for why Jeanne lies in general or what motivated her to conjure up such a story. By the way, she’s not even Jewish.

Still, the film is a compelling and enjoyable drama with a critically lauded and talented cast. The troubled Jeanne is played by Émilie Dequenne, who creates a likeable angst and mystique behind her character that teeters between being adult and child. The ever-lovely Catherine Deneuve plays her sweet yet anguished mother.

Besides Jeanne’s “attack,” the film is filled with other colorful storylines not really relevant to the central plot. They are overdeveloped, yet interesting as character portraits. Like the main plot, these subplots too are left unresolved in the end.

Despite the somewhat erratic sensibility and unanswered questions, this still manages to be a wonderful film.

The DVD comes with no substantial bonus materials. It would have been nice to see a featurette about the real-life event and maybe what has become of the girl who sparked the controversy that inspired this film.

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