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Stop What You’re Doing & Go Watch The Girl On The Train For Its Powerful Women Characters

Stop What You’re Doing & Go Watch The Girl On The Train For Its Powerful Women Characters

Watching Ribhu Dasgupta’s film The Girl on the Train is a surreal experience. It’s like being in an eerie dream that you want to wake up from but also want to complete. The film follows the story of Mira Kapoor (Parineeti Chopra), the ballsy lawyer who finds herself in hot soup after fighting a case against a notorious criminal. She is warned that there’d be repercussions and that’s exactly what happens. Following a targetted car crash, she develops a rare form of amnesia that makes it difficult for her to retain most of what happens post the accident. Ten minutes into the movie and she is an alcoholic, cannot remember most of her past, and obsessed with her ex-husband who is now married to someone else.

Heartbroken and dejected, she realises that she has lost him forever. And to get over all this, she transfers her fixation to a woman that she sees every day while commuting on a train. The woman is later identified as Nusrat John (Aditi Rao Hydari) and Mira explains her fixation by saying that she sees her old, happy self in her. Her voyeuristic fantasy around Nusrat is duly shattered when Mira sees her in the embraces of a man who’s not her husband. Things get out of hand when Nusrat is found dead in a forest and all the evidence point at Mira. 

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An adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ debut novel of the same name, TGOTT is definitely one of the better films that have been released post-pandemic. This is not to say that it is the perfect film. In fact, it is far from perfect. The plot is rickety, the surprise element often misses the mark, and the music is all over the place.

Despite the functional hiccups, it is the woman cast of the film that steers it through. What the film lacks in terms of being a gripping murder mystery/psychological thriller, it more than makes up for through its women cast. Here’s what we are currently loving about the powerful women cast of The Girl on the Train:

Parineeti Chopra As Mira Kapoor

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For the most part of the film, Mira is seen clad in a dark trench, intoxicated, and duly lost. She is lost in the past, practically looking for memories that made her who she was and thus still fixated on her ex-husband who can help her reclaim them. From her job to her dream home, she has lost it all. All that Mira is left with is the willpower that keeps her going when things go out of hand. Detective Bagga (Kirti Kulhari) identifies her as the chief suspect in the murder. Now here’s the problem: Mira may or may not have done it. Her memory is faltering and she can’t recollect the events of the night when Nusrat was murdered.  

For a woman who is constantly told that she is “losing it” and has to depend on alcohol to keep it going, Parineeti does justice to the character. You can feel what she is feeling when she shakily walks through the streets looking for pieces of her lost past. You can literally feel her nausea. Of course, the smudged kohl helps and the credit also needs to be given to her style and makeup team. All in all, Parineeti has done a great job and has managed to look the part pretty well. while she might stumble a little in the starting 10-15 minutes, she gets a great grip on the character for the rest of the film. 

Aditi Rao Hydari As Nusrat John

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Okay, we gotta say this out loud: Aditi Rao Hydari is easily the most underrated actress in the Indian film industry! She has a powerful screen presence and a certain mystery about her that makes you want to see more of her. There is a part in the film where Mira looks at Nusrat from a distance and says “Koi itna khush kaise ho sakta hai (How can someone be so happy)? But looks are deceptive. Behind Nusrat’s happiness lurks her dark truth and her eyes more than tell the story.

No wonder Mani Ratnam keeps casting her in his films. This is an actress with a lot of potential. In TGOTT too, she effortlessly translates her character’s dilemmas, fears, longing, and her capability of immense love on the screen. Even for a short role, Aditi delivers an impactful performance. If only, more filmmakers start casting her in the films and give her meatier roles!

Kirti Kulhari As Detective Bagga

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Kirti Kulhari as Detective Bagga has also given a decent performance in the film. She is trying to solve a murder where everyone looks like a suspect as well as Nusrat’s lover until all the pieces of evidence start pointing at Mira. However, Mira is a skilled lawyer and getting her behind the bars isn’t an easy task. Her amnesia just makes things worse. But more importantly, is she actually chasing the real murderer? Kirti as an actress has always had an imposing screen presence and TGOTT is no different.

All in all, we recommend The Girl on the Train for its impactful women cast. That said, it is overall an interesting watch as well and a happy departure from the otherwise array of lackluster movies that we had to watch in the past year or so. You won’t regret watching this one. 

Featured Image: Instagram 

26 Feb 2021

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