The Railway Man (2014)
Critic Consensus: Understated to a fault, The Railway Man transcends its occasionally stodgy pacing with a touching, fact-based story and the quiet chemistry of its stars.
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as Eric Lomax
as Patti Lomax
as Eric Lomax (young)
as Young Finlay
as Young Nagase
as Major York
as Kempei Officer
as Captain Thompson
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Critic Reviews for The Railway Man
The filmmakers don't have the nerve for a serious consideration of trauma, vengeance, and forgiveness.
The critical problems are an overbusy time-jumping script and reliance on the conventions of the trauma drama - flashbacks, fragmentation, distorted time and space - that prove more a barrier than a window into the character's inner lives.
Beautifully acted, The Railway Man is profoundly moving, and yet, somehow, its sentimental ending manages to be both unearned and predictable.
The quality of mercy isn't just strained in The Railway Man, it's measured out by the teaspoonful.
Audience Reviews for The Railway Man
Got to admit, did not know what this was about when I rented it. Kind of thought it was a romance story. Oops.
Needless to say, wasn't too enthralled when the romance between Colin firth and Nicole Kidman suddenly turned into war flashbacks set 40 years prior.
Honesty, I was bored crapless for the majority and on the iPad not really paying attention. Bits of it got through. The water torture in particular was harrowing and the reconciliation at the end was surprisingly moving.
I would say this is actually a worthy and well made movie, just not one I would have chosen had I actually read the blurb properly!
Nicole Kidman's role is relatively small. She's really not a main character.
A very emotional, enjoyable movie with powerful performances from Kidman and Firth!
Languidly paced biography is handsomely mounted and well acted but this period melodrama is inert. Colin Firth exemplifies respectful reverence in his depiction of Eric Lomax as a soft genteel man haunted by the past. His posttraumatic stress disorder continues to weigh on him. That sets the stage for the climax. Lomax learns that that Takashi Nagase is now employed as a tour guide. Actor Hiroyuki Sanada is him as an adult. The Japanese soldier who oversaw his torture in 1942 now works at a museum on the very grounds of the prison camp where the two men first met. In an effort to reconcile his feelings, Lomax re-visits Burma several decades later. On paper the developments sound fascinating, but what is undoubtedly an important account is given a very conventional treatment. The film builds to this meeting as a highlight of sorts. Will he find peace or revenge? Colin Firth's portrait of restrained passivity is both admirable and frustrating. The biopic engages at irregular intervals but it's so carefully modulated that it feels like an artifact from a bygone era. The Railway Man is ultimately a positive tale and I suppose it gets some sympathy points for that.
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