The Railway Man (2013)


Lately I’ve been avoiding Nicole Kidman movies because I’ve never considered her a particularly good actress, and I haven’t usually made the movies she’s acted in, especially in the last few years since she overdosed on Botox, so not the slightest smile, no expression more possible on her face, and therefore not a good role, ie. persuasiveness of acting. So I thought to skip this movie and now I’m glad I didn’t because it appears minimally and, to be honest, I followed the story of the movie more so that her character and work didn’t bother me to enjoy this, when I put it all together, very good a piece of film.

Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) is a British officer, captured and tortured by the Japanese in World War II. Twenty years after the war, on a train trip, he meets the nice and attractive Petty (Nicole Kidman), a former nurse. They immediately fall in love and a little later they get married. Their seemingly idyllic life begins to be disrupted by Eric’s nightmares and the traumas he vividly remembers from the war. Fifth decides to find out exactly what is bothering Erik and talks to his friend, comrade-in-arms from the war Finley (Stellan Skarsgård). Reluctantly, however, Petty discovers the terrible torture that Eric went through as a prisoner. Also, Finley finds out that one of Eric’s torturers is still alive, accidentally coming across an article about him in the newspaper. This is what Eric says after a short thought, but he is still on a dangerous path to face that man and his past.

The director of the film is the little-known Australian director and screenwriter Jonathan Teplicki, perhaps better known for the romantic drama Burning Man (2011). His approach to directing is thorough and serious as best seen in this film, and he has already won a BAFTA award in 1993 for a documentary he did for the BBC. By the way, this film is based on the biography of the real Eric Lomax, of the same name. Frank Cottrell Boys and Andy Patterson worked on adapting the script for the film, and I can say that they did a very good job and that Lomax lived only a short time (he died in 2012) and would certainly be satisfied with the adaptation of his story. At times, the film becomes a bit tiring and monotonous, we can even agree that it is too long, but that did not seriously affect my positive impression, and such things are sometimes characteristic of biographical dramas.

For such a biographical drama, it is very important to have quality actors who will present the given material, and that, of course, succeeded in this film. Erika played always great and well-known, his name became synonymous with quality – Colin Firth, who did very well in the role of a tortured and unstable man. It is important to note that Erika from her younger days was excellently played by a young Briton, Jeremy Irvine, when we watched him in Spielberg’s 2011 War Horse. It can be said that his acting matches Firth’s, although Firth is undoubtedly a better, older, more experienced actor, but the young man was also great. Nicole is standard cold and, in my opinion, she played the role of a worried wife unnoticed. Stellan Skarsgård has a minor role, but it is always a pleasure to see him.

All in all, I have a recommendation to watch – a very good biographical drama about the suffering and trauma of a tortured man who, despite everything he went through, retained basic human dignity and ethical morality, which is not often the case with people who have gone through the same thing.