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The Way Back [DVD]

171 customer reviews

Price: £3.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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The Way Back [DVD] + The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
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Product details

  • Actors: Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan
  • Directors: Peter Weir
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: 9 May 2011
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004I2XX0A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,612 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

The Way Back is the critically acclaimed new release from renowned director Peter Weir (Master and Commander, The Truman Show), starring Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Mark Strong and Saoirse Ronan. Inspired by an incredible true story, this epic film of survival against-the-odds tells the story of a group of seven prisoners who escaped from a Soviet gulag in Stalin-era Russia and walked over 4,000 miles across some of the most unforgiving terrain in the world, crossing the Siberian Arctic, the Gobi desert and the Himalayas before finally arriving in British-ruled India.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By David Rowland TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 April 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Many years ago I travelled by train along a stretch of the Trans-Siberian Railway from Novosibirsk to Irkutsk on the southern shore of Lake Baykal not long after reading Slavomir Rawicz's book "The Long Walk" and I vividly remember that Siberia was a region of endless space, where there were no signs of human habitation for hours on end and vast dense pine forests stretched from horizon to horizon for hundreds of miles. I tried to picture what it must have been like for a small party of people with hardly any food or suitable clothing walking across this region for months on end in the middle of winter in temperatures up to minus 30 degrees below zero and then walking through the scorching heat of the Gobi Desert and climbing over the huge peaks of the Himalayas. It is scarcely comprehensible that a few men did manage to escape this way from Russia's Gulags and eventually reach freedom.

Peter Weir's magnificent, enthralling and moving film tells the story of a group of prisoners from a Russian prison camp north of Lake Baykal who escaped and walked south for 4,000 miles across Siberia, Mongolia, China and Tibet and the survivors of the journey eventually reached India.

The authenticity of Rawicz's account has been widely questioned but there is no doubt that a few Poles and others did manage to escape and reach freedom in this way and some joined the free Polish forces and fought against the German's who ironically were fighting the Russians.

It was these same Russians who had condemned thousands of Poles and others to long stretches in the Gulags on trumped up charges and when the Germans invaded Russia in June 1941, it suited the Russians to release many Poles from the camps to fight alongside them against the Nazis.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Sievert on 10 April 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One problem with odysseys is that they completely dominate the narrative. The journey is the story. All else is subservient to it. Naturally, this cannot be helped because the odyssey itself — dramatic and powerful — is what matters most. Therefore it becomes the main character, with the human characters in it, or along it, reduced to the size of ants or termites.

That situation is quite evident in this superb film, essentially a true story of an escape from a Russian gulag in 1942 and of the astounding, superhuman trek that led the escaped prisoners from Siberia to Mongolia, Tibet, the high Himalaya and into India, a journey on foot of over 4,000 miles that took them (or some of them) two years. Not all of them made it but a handful did, proof that the human will to endure can survive almost anything.

I once trekked with a single Sherpa guide in the desolate Lahaul and Spiti region of northeast India along the border with Tibet. We began at 3,000 meters in a small village north of Udaipur in the Chenab Valley. We walked for 10 days, crossing a subsidiary range of the high Indian Himalaya at Sach Pass (5,300 meters). Permanent snow at that elevation, even in August when we did the trek. By the time we began our descent into the lush green Tisa Valley to the southwest I was barely able to make it to the town of Chambra. In fact I remember cheating and hitching a lift for us the last few miles. Thereafter I stayed in bed for two days with swollen feet and blisters, having walked about 120 miles. I was only in my 30s then and thought I was fit. But even in the town of Dalhousie a day later I was hobbling as if I needed crutches to walk.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BrownPolar on 17 Mar. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
From Peter Weir, one of the great masters of modern cinema, comes this epic, moving and inspirational film about a motley group of prisoners who escape from one of Stalin’s brutal, Siberian gulags in the 1940‘s. Based on the book, ‘The Long Walk’ by Slawomir Rawicz, which is inspired by true events, the film recounts the arduous trek the group undertakes for freedom, through thousands of miles of unforgiving wilderness and hostile territories, first across Siberian tundra, then across Mongolian desert and ultimately along Himalayas to finally reach safety in Northern India.

This is a truly memorable and life-affirming portrait of human spirit and resilience against impossible odds and of heart-warming camaraderie under insufferable conditions, and therefore is a film that everyone should see.

The Way Back feels as long as the arduous journey that it depicts, but there is not a single dull moment throughout. Beautifully shot in some of the most breathtaking locations on the planet and directed with ease and panache that only a master of his craft could muster, this is a commendable achievement in the history of cinema. Having said that, the performances are patchy at times, although Ed Harris delivers a commanding and anchoring performance once again. Similarly, the score, though effective in part, fails to thematically harmonise with the story as a whole. These flaws unfortunately keep the film from achieving the status of a masterpiece.

An unforgettable moment in the film is the death of Irena (Saoirse Ronan) due to exhaustion and dehydration in the Mongolian desert. A quiet and sobering moment without music, it is one of the most sublime film sequences I have ever seen.

BrownPolar
July 2011
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