The Railway Man Review

18 Jan

Continuing with the film reviews today I’m gonna now talk about The Railway Man a film that caught my eye around a month ago with a really strong and emotional trailer. So does it work? Read on and find out.

Story can be described as the following:

“During World War II, Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) is a British officer who is captured by the Japanese in Singapore and sent to a POW camp, where he is forced to work on the Thai-Burma Railway. During his time in the camp, Lomax is tortured by the Kempetai primarily for building a radio.

Years later, and still suffering the psychological trauma of his wartime experiences, Lomax, with the help of his wife Patti, and best friend Finlay (Skarsgård), decides to find and confront one of his captors. Lomax returns to the scene of his torture and manages to track down his captor, Japanese officer Takashi Nagase (Sanada), from the prison camp, “in an attempt let go of a lifetime of bitterness and hate”.”

From the trailer I was expecting a really emotional story full of pain, suffering, drama and resolution and while this film presents that, I feel like it wasn’t delivered as effectively as I thought it would. There are definitely moments that work and that mainly revolves around the initial meeting of Lomax and his wife, Lomax’s current physiological episodes and his past in the war, along with the torture scenes and Lomax’s eventual confrontation with Nagase too. Any time the film diverts from that it comes really does drag and gets a little boring (and it didn’t help that I fell asleep twice :S).


When it comes to the cast they were pretty good with the main stand out people being Colin Firth and Jeremy Irvine. Let’s start with Colin Firth as Eric Lomax. Firth was really good as this scarred individual who had endured a great deal of pain and suffering in WWII, he’s on his own and keeps his past to himself but also suffers from moments of pain from his past. It isn’t until Eric encounters Patti that things change, however things do not remain that way for long. Who might be slightly more impressive is Jeremy Irvine as young Eric Lomax, his performance is so convincing, energetic and he handles the physical side of his role so well and he really does come off as a hunger version of Firth.


Hiroyuki Sanada as the older Takashi Nagase was pretty good as you could see that he’d changed and was no longer the person that he was before, but hand not forgotten the times from his past. Sanada handled his material with great care and a good emotional range especially towards the end of the film. Tanroh Ishida was also good as the younger Takashi Nagase too. Also Nicole Kidman as Patti Lomax was good, she was a lovely lady and was very understanding especially given Eric’s history and you have to give her props for sticking around for that long even when their relationship gets rough whenever Eric’s past is brought up. The only person I didn’t really care for was Stellan Skarsgård as Finlay, I understood why he was there and why he was relevant to the plot, but in the end I wasn’t really invested in the character to care about him because his relevance pales in comparison to Lomx and Nagase. The same goes for Sam Reid as young Finlay who did a decent job but again not enough for me to really be bothered about him.


In conclusion The Railway Man is a good film, however I feel like more could have been done to elevate the emotional punches that the film was trying to the convey. The performances from the cast are good and where it matters the story hits its marks, but I feel like the pacing and middle of the film just weren’t up to scratch.

Rating: 6.5/10 (A decent film that just wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped)

So what did you think The Railway Man? Whatever your thoughts were drop them in the comment section below and I’ll catch ya on the next blog post yo! 🙂

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Posted by on January 18, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews


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