Movies: The Railway Man
Friday, May 2, 2014
Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) was a British soldier during World War II. He was captured by the Japanese when Singapore fell. In 1995 he wrote his autobiography, The Railway Man and, now, it’s a film. Young Eric, the soldier (Jeremy Irvine) is thrust into the horrors of war. Director Jonathan Teplitzky and his writers (Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Patterson) have stayed faithful to the book and Lomax’s experiences in the POW camp are painstakingly and painfully recreated.
In 1982, when the film begins, Lomax is on a train when he meets Patti (Nicole Kidman). The two marry and Lomax never speaks of his wartime experiences. Thus, his wife knows nothing of the torture Lomax endured So, when shortly after they marry, Lomax erupts in anger, they begin to deal with his past.
As the film goes on, we get to see horrific torture, the anguish of people in love unable to communicate and, several times, the agony of loss.
Eric’s friend Finlay (Stellan Skarsgård) who shared the war experience with him and who was also damaged, tries valiantly to help Patti help her husband. Colin Firth is magnificent. His performance is riveting, disturbing and wonderful. Kidman, too, is terrific.
The movie is both sad and rousing. Toward the end, when Lomax meets up with the Japanese soldier who wreaked such havoc in his life, it is ultimately very moving.
The Railway Man is playing here only at Regal Village Square. Like 12 Years A Slave, it is difficult to watch but it is worth watching.