Title: The Railway Man (2013)
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky (Gettin Square)
Cast: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Irvine, Stellan Skarsgard, Hiroyuki Sanada
Plot: Based on a true story, Patricia (Kidman) is freshly married to Eric Lomax (Firth) a man haunted by his time working on the Thai/Burma railway during World War 2. Patricia looks to get to the bottom of Eric’s deep seeded trauma whilst Eric himself has a chance to get revenge on the he man that caused him so much pain in the form of ex-soldier Nagase (Sanada).
“Sometimes the hating has to stop”
Film review by Eddie on 27/01/2014
Undoubtabtly an amazing true story and one that carries much weight and power The Railway Man is a sadly subdued and lacking film adaptation by one of Australia’s most talented and unique filmmakers.
Jonathan Teplitzky has showed much skill behind the camera with his comedy Gettin Square and drama Burning Man so it was with justification that hype was high when it was announced he would tackle Eric Lomax ‘s memoir. Hype was extenuated when reliable actors Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman respectively jumped on board in the lead roles so it’s quite disappointing that the melding of director and actors feels so muted.
The downfall of the film is really centred around the lacking central romance and also the telling of Eric’s time in captivity as played by War Horse actor Jeremy Irvine. Eric’s and Patricia’s relationship in the film never feels wholly real and one feels that deep down the film would of benefited from a more touching portrayl of there love. Eric’s traumatic flashbacks to feel as though they are barely scratching the surface in regards to emotional poignancy whilst Eric’s trip back to the place of his ordeal never gives off a payoff we are waiting for despite fine work from the ever reliable Sanada as ex-solder turned tour guide Nagase. It’s almost as if the film is building to an emotional crescendo that sadly never hits the lofty notes it set out to.
The Railway Man is a safe and assured film that never gets out of first gear from first frame to last playing out as a by the numbers war tale that could of been a new entry into the classic war films. For a certain audience however and for those that have history with the building of the rail line the movie will be a much more poignant tale than for those uninitiated, one just wishes that Teplitzky added his unique style to a unique tale.
3 trains out of 5