Every Friday, our film critic Grace Kinsey will review a new release at the cinema. This week, she gives her verdict on The Girl On The Train.

For fans who have long awaited the screen adaptation of Paula Hawkins' crime novel The Girl On The Train – an amnesia thriller in which an alcoholic becomes caught up in a police case involving a missing person – it will probably have been something of an anti-climax.

To begin with, the decision to move the gritty story from the grimy outskirts of London to glossy suburban New York is disappointing. On top of that, the attempts of director Tate Taylor (The Help, Get On Up) to mimic the narrative structure of Hawkins' novel do not work. Whereas Hawkins successfully intertwines the voices of the three main female characters to create a considerable amount of tension as the plot is pieced together, Taylor's effort to do so is half-hearted and contributes little in terms of plot development.

However, when we look at Taylor's The Girl On The Train as a film in its own right, rather than as an on-screen version of a book, things are more positive. It makes the most of the visual opportunities the medium of cinema offers. For example, Charlotte Bruus Christensen's cinematography is not only attractive throughout, but also effective. Specifically, she uses light very well. She opts for softness and warmth to indicate the (seemingly) blissfully comfortable lifestyle of Anna and her family. In contrast, Christensen uses harsh, bright light in scenes of Rachel's troubled past. Similarly, the glimpses Rachel catches of Scott and Megan Hipwell's life as she passes their house on the train are like something from a lifestyle account on Instagram: the good-looking couple can't keep their hands of each other when they are together, and when Scott goes to work, Megan stands wistfully on the roof terrace, looking out into the distance, wearing nothing but lingerie (#iwokeuplikethis). This is all, of course, highly unrealistic. But, again, it serves as a contrast with Rachel's bleak existence. Furthermore, Megan and Scott's Clarendon lifestyle suggests, as is often the case on social media, that what we are seeing does not reflect reality.

The best thing about The Girl On The Train, though, is Emily Blunt's performance. An initially light-hearted and relatable scene turns dark when Rachel, drunk in the toilet of a bar, performs an intense and passionate monologue, staring furiously at herself in the bathroom mirror. In this scene, Blunt is transfixing, the cinema screen almost trembling with the character's violent rage. And in a scene where Rachel bares her soul to a psychiatrist, all-too-close close-ups and a sensitive script enhance Blunt's utterly believable performance, as she delivers words groaning with sadness and exhaustion.

It is a shame, then, that at times the director makes strange decisions which detract from Blunt's skill. Why, for instance, Taylor had Rachel give a statement in the police station toilets is totally beyond me.

If you watch The Girl On The Train to relive Hawkins' novel, you are likely to be disappointed. I am certain, however, that no-one could be disappointed in the decision to cast Emily Blunt, who is admirable throughout the film.