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168 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to watch but a wonderful ending
As the daughter of a Far East POW I was wondering how close to the 'real thing' this film was going to be. Dad had told me a little of what happened so I knew it wasn't going to be easy viewing. I would absolutely recommend this film to anyone who wishes to find out more about that time - there is so little compared to other WW2 experiences. It also shows the amazing...
Published 16 months ago by Jane

versus
100 of 112 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Off the rails
Based on the 1995 memoir of Eric Lomax, the Royal Signals Officer who was tortured by the Japanese when deployed on the construction of the infamous Burma railway, this film uses flashbacks to show the reasons for his emotional repression with violent outbursts of post traumatic stress decades after the event. Colin Firth, a master in this kind of role, plays the older...
Published 16 months ago by Antenna


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168 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to watch but a wonderful ending, 26 Jan. 2014
This review is from: The Railway Man [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
As the daughter of a Far East POW I was wondering how close to the 'real thing' this film was going to be. Dad had told me a little of what happened so I knew it wasn't going to be easy viewing. I would absolutely recommend this film to anyone who wishes to find out more about that time - there is so little compared to other WW2 experiences. It also shows the amazing ability to be able to forgive and so move on. It has made me want to visit the area myself which isn't something I could have coped with before.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgiveness., 2 July 2014
By 
Glenn Cook (South Cave, near Hull UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Railway Man [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
This is an excellent film in all aspects.

At its core it is the story of forgiveness.

Based on the true life story of Eric Lomax who was captured by the Japanese, forced to work on the impossible to build Burma Railway and tortured severely.

The movie is told in Flashbacks with Eric being played by Colin Firth as the older Lomaz whilst Jeremy Irvine puts in a stellar performance as the younger.

I was pleased Irvine looked like he was from the 1930s. If this were Holywoodized the actor would have looked ripped, tanned and from the 2000 and 10s.
I do think Colin Firth, although a great actor should have been made up to look less young and prettified- but this is a minor quibble.

Nicole Kidman is wonderful in her support.
She too does not look like a blonde bombshell but in this performance she demonstrates what a good actress she is- a pleasant surprise.

The torture scenes and beatings are brutal.
But then they were in real life.
The savage beatings with a pick axe handle the crunch of the broken bones and body hit hard- but then they should to convey the horror of just how the Japanese treated their prisoners who they considered to have 'No Honour' because they surrendered.
the film could have been longer - easily but it does not waste a second in its narration of the film.

I wanted to see the picture for two reasons.
Firstly I am of that generation were all our dads fought in the Second World War- the Granddads had fought in the First World War. Both my father and Uncles never talked about it. They would never give much information away about the war.

My Uncle was captured by the Japanese and forced to slave in a salt mine- it ruined his eyes. BUT I never realised that he had in fact fought in the War- it was never mentioned. Seeing this film I can understand why they never wanted to talk about it.

The other reason is that my Christian Men's Group are studying the Ten Commandments. The question of Forgiveness came up and as group we decided to watch the film which portrays forgiveness well.
At the end of the film there was silence.

It is a thoughtful film, well made and Worthy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film well worth seeing for many reasons and sould score 4.5, 29 Dec. 2014
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A difficult subject to portray in a film lasting 2 hours due to its complexity and wishing to make it entertaining to a mass market. It almost completely succeeds. I would really like to award the film 4.5 but that is not possible.Great acting as you would expect from the distinguished cast. I just felt that some aspects of the script and production left a little to be desired. However, a film very well worth seeing. At the conclusion on the film I was left with a great sense of emotion about the many achievements of Eric Lomax throughout his life. What an exceptionally brave man that demonstrated to us a model all of how he dealt with real challenges but was able to conclude his life in both peace and dignity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good POW Film for a Rainy Sunday Afternoon, 17 July 2014
By 
William Mason (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Railway Man [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
If you liked Bridge on the River Kwai (Sir Alec Guinness), or more recently, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (David Bowie), you'll probably like this too. This is a slightly old fashioned WWII POW drama, starring Colin Firth as a former British Army officer, who suffers from nightmares/PTSD stemming from his cruel treatment and torture as a Japanese POW in Thailand. 35 years after his harrowing experiences, and with the help of his wife (played by Nicole Kidman), Firth's character tries to get to grips with his dark history, including an encounter with one of the Japanese soldiers who was involved in his torture. The two lead characters give solid and emotional performances, and the early days of their romance, including their initial chance encounter on a train, are particularly well played. The torture scenes at the POW camp are relatively mild, probably on a par with similar scenes of brutality in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, but they are well done, and they are necessary to show why Firth's character remained haunted by those experiences for decades into the future. This is a beautifully shot movie, particularly the passages with the train journey and the POWs excavating through the land to build a roadway, which means that this is better to watch on Blu Ray rather than standard DVD.
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100 of 112 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Off the rails, 24 Jan. 2014
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Railway Man [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Based on the 1995 memoir of Eric Lomax, the Royal Signals Officer who was tortured by the Japanese when deployed on the construction of the infamous Burma railway, this film uses flashbacks to show the reasons for his emotional repression with violent outbursts of post traumatic stress decades after the event. Colin Firth, a master in this kind of role, plays the older Lomax, with Jeremy Irvine putting in a strong performance as his younger self, earnest, floppy-haired and prepared with quiet bravery to take the rap for the assembly of an illicit radio receiver. Nicole Kidman assumes a convincing English accent to play the sympathetic new wife who is determined to extract Lomax from his mental agony. When Lomax discovers in the 1980s that Takashi Nagase, the young interpreter who played a key part in his torture, is still alive, working, of all things, as a guide at the Kanchanaburi War Museum (close to the famous bridge on the river Kwai) he is initially bent on revenge as a means of exorcising his demons.

I was disappointed by the first half: dialogues often seem stilted as in the "Brief Encounter" style meeting on a train between Lomax and his future wife Patti. Lomax looks much younger than the fellow officers with whom he has kept in contact, and he could have done with a few more scars and grey hairs. The sets "back home" have more of a 1950s feel than the 1980s as I remember them. Worst of all, the earlier scenes in the jungle are often confusing or hammy, apart from the final harrowing torture in the dreaded hut. Overall, the script and direction often appear wooden until the final resolution.

The film was saved for me by the second part of the film which is unpredictable, moving and well-developed. Throughout, the scenery is beautiful, both in the Kwai valley, despite the horror of the slave labour and brutality, and in the scenery around Lomax's stark grey house overlooking a golden beach and the sea at, I think, Berwick-upon-Tweed.

I have read that, in fact, Lomax had a first wife for the best part of forty years, whom he left for Patti, and two daughters, all largely omitted from his memoir. I understand why the director let this stand, in order perhaps to create a tighter and more focused drama, but this has been at the price of concealing and neglecting other lives directly blighted by what Lomax suffered.

The film may not do justice to the highly acclaimed autobiography.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tormented Trainspotter, 23 Nov. 2014
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Railway Man [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
"The Railway Man" is an absorbing but downbeat and harrowing film ,based on a true story, about an ex soldier struggling to come to terms with the trauma that was inflicted upon him in a Japanese POW camp during the Second World War. Colin Firth plays the soldier,Lomax,while Nicole Kidman is his sympathetic and caring wife. Lomax finds out by chance that his principal torturer is still alive, so he heads off to Thailand to confront him. He is nursing many years of pent up hatred and seems hell bent on revenge, but would meeting this man face to face make him release his fury or paradoxically have a cathartic effect on him ? This film is based on a true story and it is quite gripping throughout. The viewer empathises with the characters who are haunted by their wartime past and that is in no large part due to the acting abilities of Firth and Kidman.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ... you have read the book recently you will be disappointed. I felt the film didn't follow the original ..., 18 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Railway Man (DVD)
If you have read the book recently you will be disappointed. I felt the film didn't follow the original story accurately, mixing scenes and events to make it more 'hollywood and cinematic'; I would assume. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. It jumps around, with little explanation regarding certain aspects. I agree with others that Colin Firth could have been made to look older, but then again with the exception of the Major none of the POWs looked particularly haggard considering what the actual men went through. If I was a relative of Mr Lomax I would be quite aghast at how he was portrayed in the film. In the book he admits his flaws whilst also being very 'matter of fact' in writing about his torture. Read the book, it is a far better portrayal of the man and what it was like being a Japanese POW working on the railway.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars despite his terrible experiences. My own father managed to escape from ..., 31 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Railway Man [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
What a story! How simply told! Not a trace of mawkishness or self pity, despite his terrible experiences. My own father managed to escape from Singapore at the time of the surrender. He had an awful time too during that period in an open boat with a few others. A bunch of soldiers trying to navigate by the stars at night and hiding along the coast by day. Dad said it was a very difficult time but later on, when he heard about what had happened to those left behind, he felt that their hardship had been much worse than his. A marvellous account of adversity and the difficulties of living with the impact of it all.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robert Burns, 8 May 2014
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This review is from: The Railway Man (DVD)
Once more the immortal words of Robert Burns ring true: "Mans' ihumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn" in the never ending atrocities which continue to the present day, Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman are superb in the leading roles of this harrowing true story from the war in the Far East. Well worth watching BUT extremely sad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WAR LEAVES A MARK, 6 May 2014
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Railway Man [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) is not "a train buff" but a "railway enthusiast." While riding the trains he meets the 17 year younger Canadian nurse Patti (Nicole KIdman) which appears to be a love at first sight and hasten marriage. Patti discover Eric has severe PTSD from the time he spent as a POW under the Japanese. He is mentally still fighting the war which has left an "army of ghosts."

Much of the film is consumed by Patti attempting to figure out Eric's problem, having to rely on a friend. Discovering that his tormenter is still alive, Patti must decide if Eric should know, not knowing what he might do.

The film was well done, It is based on a true story.and a book by the same title. The film left out some aspects of Eric's life, like the wife he left for Patti.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs, sex, or nudity.
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