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134 of 138 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 11 months ago by Jane

versus
90 of 101 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 11 months ago by Antenna


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134 of 138 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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33 of 34 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
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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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90 of 101 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
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 500 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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2 of 2 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The broken man 's return to life and love, 27 Nov 2014
This review is from: The Railway Man [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I can thoroughly recommend the book for those who were taken by the film as it adds a deeper dimension to the story that the film hints at but never quite nails. Colin Firth, as ever, does a commendable job as Eric Lomax (the older) and initially I thought the casting of Nicole Kidman was not a good choice until I read an interview with the person she was playing. It is a remarkable story of courage and the depth trauma plays in staining all it touches and the bravery required to bring it out into the open and share it with others. In his book, Eric Lomax appears painfully aware of the people who did not survive this experience, then or in the years that followed. The film acknowledges this but is unable to give you the emotional charge the writers words create. However, it is not a return to 'Bridge Over the River Kwai' and the memory of this period of history through the Stiff Upper British Lip approach to the bad eggs of history-for that I was grateful!
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1 of 1 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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30 of 35 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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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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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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This film is a must! The horrors of the infamous "Burma Railway" retold through the memories of a survivor., 6 Jun 2014
By 
Mrs. D. Surrey "Castell" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Railway Man [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
The Burma railway was also known as the "Death railway!". It was 258 Miles and stretched from Bangkok to Burma . It was constructed in 1943 by forced labour consisting of 180,000 Asian civilians,and 60,000 allied prisoners of war.Of these 90,000 Asian workers died and 12,399 Allied prisoners died.The line was closed in 1947 but partly re-opened in 1957.The majority of the dead allied soldiers were British,but there was also Dutch,Australians and Americans with 20 other from the commonwealth countries.
This is the story of one man's fight to regain inner peace and sanity after he returned home at the end of WW2.

During the harrowing scenes in the film,it shows "Hellfire Pass".This was a particularly difficult section of the line due to it being cut out of sheer rocks,all by hand.Sixty Nine men were beaten to death by the Japanese Guards and many more died from Cholera and Dysentery and starvation...

In the film our hero (Colin Firth) recognises a Major from British Forces.The Major sadly was in a shocking state and on the point of death by exhaustion.

It is pointless me going over the storyline as others have beaten me to it,however,Nicole Kidman played a stellar role as the new wife of the mentally broken Eric Lomax..It was she who helped him on the road to recovery,although for most of the film she was locked out of his mind.After Eric found out that the worst of the brutal Japanese Officers was still alive,he planned to kill him.Finally he made peace with the Officer,and indeed they then became the best of friends that carried them into their old age together.

A memorable film that puts into context the famous saying of "Lest we forget!"
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The Railway Man [DVD] [2013]
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