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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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.
Audience Reviews for The Railway Man
True story about a prisoner of war who later in life actually befriends the guy who tortured him during the war only lacks that which might've connected us with the focus of the piece, the main character, and thereby involved the audience with the narrative. It means well, but shirks its heavy responsibility throughout.
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!
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