The Railway Man

The Railway Man

Jonathan Teplitzky (2013)

116min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Though it adds an extra hallmark of quality, the casting of Nicole Kidman alongside Colin Firth in this polished biographical drama is rather deceptive, suggesting a love story that never quite materialises. The story begins in 1983, when train spotter Eric Lomax (Firth) meets future wife Patti (Kidman) en route to Scotland. After they marry, Patti learns that the nerdy ex-soldier is given to horrific nightmares. As she investigates further, more is revealed about Eric's past as a PoW who was captured by the Japanese in 1942 and forced to work on the notorious Thai-Burma railway. Patti's involvement is then shunted into the sidelines, as Eric learns that the soldier who once tortured him is still alive, prompting him to journey east for a confrontation. Here, the narrative changes tack once again, only to build to an unexpected but powerful conclusion. The flashback structure can't help but make the film feel a bit disjointed, although the performance of the excellent Jeremy Irvine as the young Eric makes the jumps less jarring.

Summary

A traumatised former prisoner of war gets married, but continues to suffer nightmares about his experiences. He is unable to talk to his wife about his time in captivity, so she tracks down a fellow hostage to learn the truth - and discovers the cruel Japanese officer he is fixated on is still alive. Fact-based drama, starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Stellan Skarsgard.

Cast & Crew

Eric Lomax Colin Firth
Patti Lomax Nicole Kidman
Finlay Stellan Skarsgard
Young Eric Lomax Jeremy Irvine
Nagase Hiroyuki Sanada
Young Finlay Sam Reid
Young Nagase Tanroh Ishida
Sutton Michael Mackenzie
Director Jonathan Teplitzky
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Other Information

Language: English / JapaneseColourTheatrical distributor: Lionsgate UKGuidance: Violence.Released on: 10 Jan 2014
Drama