Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Cast: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine Hiroyuki Sanada
Duration: 116 mins
Release Date: 26 December, 2013
InDaily says: Captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore and subsequently shunted to the infamous Burma railway construction site as slave labour, British officer and lifelong railway enthusiast Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) was systematically tortured for constructing a transistor radio. Years later, still suffering the lifelong effects of the brutality and degradation meted out, Lomax meets, and subsequently marries, the demure Patti (Nicole Kidman), only to find that thoughts of revenge will not leave his mind. Encouraged by a fellow veteran to seek redress on behalf of all those who suffered at the hands of the Japanese, Lomax finally travels to confront his sadistic captor, Nagase, who is now a tour guide. Based on the autobiography of Lomax, The Railway Man is an often harrowing look at war and its subjugation of the human spirit, and more importantly, how the scars accrued in both combat and capture never fully heal. For Lomax and his torturer, meeting again sparks memories of atrocity in both, and a willingness to meet somewhere along the jungle path of reconciliation. The Railway Man is a moving portrait of anger and forgiveness, not only between enemies, but between men and their own minds and men and their lovers, proving that ultimately, everyone is a casualty of war and its aftermath.
The Guardian says: From time to time, the script contextualises a little clumsily…but the playing and pacing are terrific. Teplitzky finishes with a kind of catharsis rarely on offer: meek and deeply felt, a mature and moving exorcism.”
Margaret and David say: Margaret – ” I was overwhelmed by it, I’ve got to tell you. It really cut deep with me. But I also think that Nicole is developing such wonderful maturity as an actress. I think she’s fantastic in this. I’m giving it four and a half stars.” David – “I also thought that the climactic scenes were extraordinarily powerful. I mean it’s a whole theme of reconciliation and so on, which is so important and beautifully done. I’m giving it four stars.”
The Hollywood Reporter: “An old-fashioned war drama stuffed into a cumbersomely choppy time structure, The Railway Man is well-acted and handsomely produced, but its honorable intentions are not matched by sustained emotional impact or psychological suspense.”
Kids? No. Too many torture scenes and complex war themes.
Watch it: With your dad on DVD. Not one that necessarily needs to be seen on a television.