The Girl on the Train

Musical Score By: Danny Elfman

Distributed by: Sony Classical

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the thriller The Girl on the Train, Emily Blunt is Rachel Watson, a troubled woman who observes what she believes to be the perfect couple every day from her seat on a train to New York City.  One day, while passing the home of the perfect couple, she spots the wife (Haley Bennett) with another man, throwing her into an emotional tailspin, reminding her of how her marriage ended.  Intent on giving the wife a piece of her mind, she gets off the train near the perfect couple’s home, but can’t remember anything that happens afterward.  When the wife goes missing, Rachel discovers she’s the prime suspect and even she doesn’t know whether she’s guilty or not.

                The musical score of The Girl on the Train was created by American singer, songwriter, record producer and composer Danny Elfman.  Founder of the rock band, Oingo Boingo, Elfman performed with the band, but also composed music for film on the side.  His first film composition was for Forbidden Zone in 1980.  Since then, he has gone on to create musical score for a number of films, including Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Dolores Claiborne, Dead Presidents, Mission: Impossible, Men in Black, Good Will Hunting, Planet of the Apes, Charlotte’s Webb, Wanted, Terminator Salvation, Alice in Wonderland, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, Fifty Shades of Grey and more.

                The Girl on the Train Soundtrack features and electronic score with keyboards, guitars and electronic sound.  The first track, Riding the Train is a keyboard led track with a sense of sadness to it, a wistfulness as Rachel watches the “perfect couple” and wishes she has what they have.  The next two tracks, Something's Not Right and Megan are echo-ey and off-key, sort of blurred around the edges.  In the case of Rachel, these are the blurred edges of Rachel’s memory while drinking.  In the case of Megan, this represents the blurred lines of truth around her statements.  The score becomes darker as the album progresses and the mystery in the film unfolds, but the last tracks, Resolution and The Girl on the Train are lighter, happier with a sense of being freed from oppression.  The choir in the last track offers up a feeling of new beginnings.

                Having seen the film, I can honestly say that Danny Elfman’s score for The Girl on the Train adds something extra to the movie.  It’s the extra character that helps define the plot and the events surrounding the main characters.  It expresses the emotions of the characters musically when the characters cannot express themselves verbally.  I’m not sure it would be enjoyed as much by someone who was not a Elfman fan or had not seen the film, but I certainly enjoyed The Girl on the Train Soundtrack, picturing each scene in my mind’s eye as I listened. 


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