Colin Firth stars in The Railway Man, based on the best-selling memoir, this is the extraordinary and epic true story of Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who was tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labour camp during World War II. Decades later, Lomax discovers that the Japanese interpreter he holds responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him, and his haunted past. A powerful tale of survival, love and redemption, THE RAILWAY MAN stars Academy Award-winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, with Jeremy Irvine and Stellan Skarsgård.
There are some good points about this film. The acting, as one would expect of a cast of this calibre, is excellent and - up to a point - as a timely reminder of how barbaric people can be to one another it is worthwhile. HOWEVER (!) the true story on which this film is based (albeit far too loosely) is a harrowing but ultimately uplifting account of Eric Lomax's life, dealing with his terrible time as a Prisoner of War under the Japanese and this period's long term after effects. This film, particularly in regard to the latter, deviates alarmingly from the true story and in so doing diminishes it. The sequences in which the film character Lomax meets up with one of his Japanese captors many years later is particularly guilty in this respect; apart from being quite implausible it introduces a measure of melodrama that is quite unnecessary. (Lomax did indeed go on such a "reunion" but in totally different circumstances to those portrayed in the film). One accepts that stories have to be condensed to fit the format of a feature film and that a certain degree of "artistic licence" can be required. But when a recent true-life and highly poignant story is mangled and unnecessarily added to in the fashion seen in this film the results are unacceptable. Mr. Lomax's story deserved much better.