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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robert Burns
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.
Published 2 months ago by An Old Greybeard

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77 of 85 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 6 months ago by Antenna


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robert Burns, 8 May 2014
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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102 of 106 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] (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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77 of 85 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] (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 Good POW Film for a Rainy Sunday Afternoon, 17 July 2014
By 
Bill Mason (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Railway Man [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Griping story, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Railway Man [DVD] (DVD)
Really enjoyed this film. Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth were great. Terrible torture those men had to to endure. Amazing that he could forgive that Japanese soldier.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal and emotive., 9 May 2014
This review is from: The Railway Man [DVD] (DVD)
An acutely moving and nightmarish portrayal of the brutality suffered by POW's at the hands of their Japanese captors during world war 2. I see no point in adding to other reviewers comments, however, I will simply say that at the end of this harrowing and beautifully made homage to suffering and the utter futility of war... I was in tears.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two former enemies, who became great friends!, 21 July 2014
This review is from: Railway Man [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
A former British Army officer,(Colin Firth) who was tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II, discovers that the man (Hiroyuki Sanada) responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him.

Very well directed throughout, Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman are great in the leading roles and with a great supporting cast as well, difficult to watch at times, gripping story that keeps you watching, unpredictable, moving and well developed.

Overall a very good film. Would recommend this to anyone who likes war films.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great a expectation...., 2 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Railway Man [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
A very intensive great movie about a dark period of WW2 in Asia....the film is set in Thailand and shows the brutality of being a POW under Japanese rule....both main actors Colin Firth and Nicole Kidmen performed outstanding..
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1 of 1 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)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Railway Man [DVD] (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not strictly factual., 10 Jun 2014
By 
Ceedee (West Midlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Railway Man [Blu-ray + UV Copy] (Blu-ray)
I thoroughly enjoyed this DVD, the acting was excellent, but Colin Firth appears much too young for the role which of course is based on a true story. I use the term 'based' loosely, because the latter half of the story and the motive for returning to Thailand differ greatly between the movie and the truth.
Worth a viewing though.
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Railway Man [Blu-ray + UV Copy]
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