"The Railway Man", starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, tells the somewhat overlooked story of soldiers captured by the Japanese during World War II. Firth plays Eric Lomax, a man who is unable to let go the experiences he faced during the war and Kidman plays his wife who longs for him to let her into that part of his life.
The story shifts back and forth between the 1980s and the 1940s with Jeremy Irvine as a young Lomax. As always, Firth is in fine acting form in the film and is able to tell so much with just a look. Nicole Kidman as well also does a wonderful job with a somewhat limited role. However, it is the younger incarnations - Irvine and Tanroh Ishida as younger Nagase, Lomax's tormentor- who are really the standouts of "The Railway Man". It's been said that Irvine approached the role through method acting. Apparently he went two months without food and filmed his own torture scenes. If that's really the case, then it worked and it's easy to see why he's one of Hollywood's most in demand young actors. He completely melts into the role and really makes the viewer care about what happens to Eric Lomax.
However, overall, the film lacks any real emotional payoff. True, the film has some great themes about loss, forgiveness, and what it means to go to war, but the movie doesn't give the viewer any connection to what's happening on screen. "The Railway Man" is a lot like last year's "Parkland." Also a decent movie about a historical event but lacked a sense of relevancy to today's audiences. Still, "Railway Man" is worth seeing though perhaps it's best to wait until it comes out on DVD or Blu-ray.