Man on the Train, an English-language remake of Patrice Leconte’s 2002 French film makes you feel as if you are watching a quaint and quiet tale of a chance encounter. A mysterious criminal (played convincingly by Larry Mullen Jr. of U2, who is pretty strong in his first acting performance) arrives in a small town planning to knock off the local bank, assuming it will go off without a hitch. But when he encounters a retired poetry professor played by Donald Sutherland, his plans take an unlikely turn. With no place to stay, the professor generously welcomes the unknown thief into his home. As the two men talk, an unusual bond forms between the polar opposites, and surprising moments of humor and compassion emerge.

As they begin to understand each other more, they each examine the choices they’ve made in their lives and secretly envy one another for the decisions they’ve made. Through conversation, they discover their secret longing to live the type of lifestyle the other man has lived.

The professor has lived a life of safe routine, continuity and risk-avoidance, though he’s always wanted to walk on the bad side. The stranger yearns to live without the constant torment of looking over his shoulder, never being able to trust anyone and never having love.

At times, he even tries to sabotage the professor’s relationship with Vivienne, played by Kate O’Toole – who effortlessly conveys maturity, a character who helps shape the story as she manages to dispel the overall impression that the story is basically a two-man, Yin and Yang film.

Sutherland plays an idealistic and optimistic professor who sees the best in anyone, no matter how damaged they are. In many scenes, Sutherland seems to be trying to carry both himself and Mullen Jr. to a point that you feel a bit overwhelmed.

Mullen Jr., as the film carries on, provides the perfect balance to Sutherland's character, playing the ghostly stranger and pessimist only interested in himself and gradually admitting to his own sort of wistful longing. He is surprised by his willingness to be a sympathetic, even empathetic listener to the talkative professor.

Director Mary McGuckian does an adequate job interweaving a chance encounter between two disparate characters, who are less memorable for never being identified by name. McGuckian is able to pique the audience’s interest through the evident tension between the stranger and the professor.

Man on the Train has all of the makings of a great indie movie: good music, amazing acting and incredible cinematography. The only thing that holds it back is the somewhat unclear direction at the end that gives you no real resolution or satisfaction and leaves you unfulfilled.

Man on the Train will be available On Demand Oct. 28.