This weekend I will take a look at another independent film from Director Johnathan Teplizky titled “The Railway Man”; a prisoner of war story from World War II which has ironically been released at the same time that American POW Bowe Bergdahl has been released by the Taliban.
Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) is a railway aficionado with an unusual affection for locomotives. He passes his time by traveling back and forth on the rails of the United Kingdom collecting memorabilia until he meets fellow traveler Patti (Nicole Kidman). Patti and Eric quickly become soul mates and are married, but Patti senses that Eric is deeply disturbed by something in his past and begins to investigate that matter. During her investigation she becomes acquainted with one of Eric’s colleagues, Finlay (Stellan Skarsgard), who eventually comes clean and explains that both of them had been held as POWs by the Japanese in World War II Thailand.
The movie transitions back and forth between the present and past with details about the horrors of the imprisonment and the interrogations conducted by a Japanese translator (Hiroyuki Sanada), who Eric largely holds responsible for his distress. When Eric finds out that the translator is making a living doing tours of the prison camp where he was held, he becomes resolved that revenge will be the only way he can heal himself.
Colin Firth, in his best role since “The King’s Speech,” is on the top of his game as the edgy Eric; Nicole Kidman is wonderfully understated as Patty; Stellan Skarsgaard is excellent as Eric’s co-conspirator in revenge, and Jeremy Irivine has an uncanny resemblance to Firth as the young Eric.
This is a good movie with good actors being played out during a time when a current POW release is proving controversial: See it. (Based on a true story.)
My Rating: 4 of 5 POWs.