The Railway Man

The Railway Man

(2013)

Based on a true story, Colin Firth is former prisoner of war Eric Lomax who, years after his torture at the hands of the Japanese, sets off to confront the man responsible. Co-stars Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine and Hiroyuki Sanada.... More

Lomax (Firth), a British Army signals officer who was captured by Japanese soldiers in World War II, was brutally tortured when his love of the railway made him a spy suspect. Many years later, Lomax is persuaded by his wife Patti (Kidman) to find his torturers. Accompanied by his best friend (Stellan Skarsgård), he returns to the scene of his incarceration and abuse, seeking out his captor (Sanada) in an attempt to let go of a lifetime of bitterness and hate.Hide

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Flicks Review

For a film based on an extraordinarily touching true story, The Railway Man is distractingly stagey. It starts off with a middle-aged meet-cute on a train where we encounter Colin Firth as Eric Lomax, a dweeby trainspotter who needs to be brought out of his shell by sweet, cardigan-wearing Nicole Kidman. But as the film develops it takes a tonal leap, shifting back in history to when young Lomax was a prisoner of war put to work in gruelling conditions on the Thai-Burma railway by brutal Japanese captors.... More

The horrors of war understandably reverberate through Lomax’s later life but Firth, who can exhibit real range, seems a little out of his depth here, unable to find a new way to express his character’s psychic damage without resorting to the suppressed British rage that worked so well in The King’s Speech. Kidman’s role, although based on a real person, is one-dimensional, tacked on with the sole function of exposing the cause of Lomax’s trauma. The core relationship of the story is actually that of Lomax and his tormentor, a Japanese interrogator.

Tepliski’s workmanlike direction often feels laboured, as though the film has been bolted together using scenes from other movies. The opening could be straight out of a Richard Curtis rom-com and the flashback scenes feel like pale imitations of The Bridge on the River Kwai. It’s only near the last reel that the film seems to shed the sense of artifice and dish up an emotional wallop; finally becoming a satisfying, heartstring-tugging tale that reveals the worst – and best – of humanity.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 6 ratings, 6 reviews
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BY ems superstar

First half a little boring but it gets good and then great.


BY thorinoak superstar

A fantastic true story but lacking any real emotional payoff.


BY theresavl wannabe

Wow! I really enjoyed the movie, subject matter aside! It was intense and emotional! While I did look away a couple of times it was really well done. There was a bit too much back and forth at the start but then it settled down and was an awesome movie. Jeremy Irvine did a fantastic job as the young Eric Lomax, and the similarities between him and Colin Firth were quite impressive! Can thoroughly recommend!


BY CJRedshaw superstar

I was so engaged and enthralled with this movie that I had no idea how long
I had been watching it for. It starts out very un-assuming and rather quirky but soon delves deep in to despair and torture of the body and soul Colin Firth exhibits what he has become known for as far as historic re-enacting goes just brilliant a real must see!!!


BY kohicat nobody

One man's anguish dealing with the nightmare that was his war-time experience but turns out to be not his torture alone. An awful tale that should and has been told.


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The Press Reviews

73% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • In Firth’s every grimace and flinch you feel the torment of Lomax’s private world, but emotionally ‘The Railway Man’ feels trimmed and tidied up. Full Review

  • It's a terrific story... but the film strains so hard trying to sustain the emotional intensity that there's no energy left for the big finish. Full Review

The Talk
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