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on 12 August 2016
In many respects an excellent film. The problem is that I have read the book. In the book it was an Argyle who went forward to admit to stealing a shovel that hadn't been stolen by anybody, and was beaten to death for it, and not, as in the film, an American who ended up in a wheelchair. In fact I don't recall the book having any American in it. There were some Americans in South East Asia and some did end up working on the Burma railway, only the one in the film is a work of fiction. Robert Carlyle's character in the film appeared to me to 100% fiction as well, including the failed stealing of firearms and breakout, which reminded me more of an incident that happened in Europe, not the Far East. In addition, whilst there would appear to have been an incident of Crucifixion somewhere in South East Asia, it wasn't at any camp the author of the book was at, and I am not aware that anybody ever volunteered for it to happen to them. I saw the film before I read the book, but as I watched the film there were bits that seemed "contrived", to say the least. Sadly, I was entirely right. Four stars, tops.
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on 16 June 2013
I recently read Ernest Gordon's book 'Miracle on the River Kwai' and was aware of this film having watched it many years ago. I haven't read his book 'To end all wars' which I assume this film is based on but I assume the two are very similar. It seems he has taken events he was told about and included them in the film as though he was one of the witnesses, this allows a more personal involvement and gives a greater freedom in the telling of this amazing story. It is wonderful to see actors of such quality giving these performances, as far as the critics go they may highlight more main stream films as more notable but to me personally this film must be a highlight. The story really is inspiring and should give the 'unseen' heroes we so often see courage to keep going. One day people will see... God sees already...
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on 31 August 2013
It may be a low budget film, but it is brilliantly done.
The actors cannot be faulted in the roles they played in this film based on the truth.
It's a movie that hits where it hurts and leaves you shocked and stunned regarding the courage, and the suffering of these men whilst in the hands of the Japanese war machine.
Just amazing how the power of Gods Word can pull people together and give them a reason to keep going. And how the opposite side of the coin (Godlessness) can bring men to a down to a state of almost pure animal.
The crucifixion of one of the prisoners is a scene I will never forget.
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on 6 November 2017
I was a little alarmed at the German script on the cover, but the film was in English (if you ignore the German subtitles!) Otherwise, I enjoyed watching it, and it really brought home the horror of being a prisoner in Japanese prisoner of war camps, and how the prisoners suffered.
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on 5 September 2016
A heart-breaking, shocking and intense story of human degradation and maltreatment – and will to survive – in a Japanese prison camp in Burma during World War II. Based on a true story. Superb acting by Robert Carlyle and Kiefer Sutherland. Personally I find this story more real and satisfying than David Leans famous The Bridge on the River Kwai.
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on 8 January 2015
Good film, good delivery. Three stars due to blurb on back being in a foriegn language, although you can change the language to english via the menu, some of the dialogue is still foriegn in the subtitles. My fault for not checking, so other buyers be aware.
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on 15 July 2010
This film deserves far more recognition than it currently receives. In the aftermath of the fall of Fortress Singapore in 1942 a group of British PoWs are transported up the Malay peninsular into Siam to work upon the infamous Burma/Siam railway under conditions of untold barbarity at the mercy of sadistic Japanese guards.
Despite the harrowing subject matter, the film ultimately finds hope in the triumph of indomitable human spirit.
Having read much on this particular subject, the treatment of this true story is sympathetic and hints at the ordeal of allied PoWs in Japanese hands. One obvious disparity, which personally I can completely understand, is that the prisoners all appear far too well fed, healthy and well clothed. Barbaric as conditions are portrayed in this film, reality was in fact far, far worse. The character portrayals are convincing, tenderly executed, very human and help make this a worthy testament to the sufferings of our PoWs.
If you have any interest in WW2 or simply enjoy good drama watch this film.
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on 8 March 2015
Good film but on this copy the subtitles are NOT in English and I feel this is very important in this film at the end I felt cheated that I did not get the whole picture, I recommend that if you like this film then wait for an English-speaking copy.
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on 11 June 2016
I caught the last 15 mins of this film on TV and was impressed so I ordered the DVD. I was prepared for a treat considering the 15 or so mins. I saw on TV but unfortunately I was a little disappointed.
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on 13 July 2013
This is, without doubt, one of the most powerful film I've seen - up there with Mississippi Burning and Tears of the Sun. Based on true events in the 1940's, there are moments that will leave you shocked and disturbed regarding both the capacity for human cruelty and the results of the discovery of what can only be deemed to be a heavenly gift of grace to endure and rise above such evil. One that will leave a deep mark.
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