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Eric Lomax was one of thousands of Allied prisoners of war forced to work on the construction of the Thai/Burma railway during WW2. His experiences, after the secret radio he built to bring news and hope to his colleagues was discovered, left him traumatised and shut off from the world. Years later, he met Patti, a beautiful woman, on a train and fell in love. Patti was determined to rid Eric of his demons. Discovering that the young Japanese officer who haunted her husband was still alive, she faced a terrible decision. Should Eric be given a chance to confront his tormentor? Would she stand by him, whatever he did? Written by
This should have been the second film in which Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz worked together, but in fact it is the first one: back in 2006, they both signed on to star in "The Colossus", a project which was going to be directed by Sean Mathias, however, the film never went ahead and the production was cancelled. See more »
An astonishing story about two former enemies in a lesser-known front of World War II
The Pacific theater of the second world war is often characterized by a number of such decisive battle fields as Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. The Railway Man is a reminder of the madness of war that reached beyond those well-known battle fields and the profound effects it had on individuals who fought in the Southeast Asia region.
Colin Firth embodies the suffering of Eric Lomax, a veteran who still experiences post-traumatic nightmares decades after the war. Nicole Kidman plays his wife Patti with utmost grace and compassion, and Stellan Skarsgård's portrayal is nothing short of perfection as he plays the fellow veteran who is also torn by his friend's immeasurable pain. Rounding out the strong performances is Hiroyuki Sanada's Nagase, a former translator of the Imperial Japanese Army who took considerable part in Eric's torture.
While the flashback scenes led by younger actors (Jeremy Irvine and Tanroh Ishida) could use some improvements, the current post-war scenes are recreated to near perfection with mature performances from the more experienced cast members. It is also noteworthy that the film does not hesitate for a moment to refute the wrong notion associated with "tragedy of war," a term often misused to make a war sound as if it were a mere chance event and not a product of malice. The film makes it clear the pain inflicted upon Eric Lomax is nothing but an act of crime, and from that accord comes an unusual relationship between two former enemies that only a film based on a true account can deliver.
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