Friday, June 13, 2014

Movie Review: "The Railway Man" (2014)

Movie"The Railway Man"
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 56 minutes
Image Source
Eric (Colin Firth) is a railway enthusiast who spends his days riding trains. It is on one of these trains where he meets his wife-to-be Patti (Nicole Kidman). They fall in love and get married, but Eric is still troubled and haunted by his past. Patti approaches an old friend of Eric’s named Finlay (Stellan Skarsgard), who reluctantly informs Patti of the pain Eric had to endure during World War II. As a younger man, Eric (Jeremy Irvine) and his entire outfit of army engineers were taken prisoner by the Japanese. After drawing a map of the railroad they were building, it was in this prison camp where Eric was violently tortured by his captors and was almost beaten to death. In order to help Eric reconcile his past, Finlay finds the location of one of the surviving captors: a Japanese interpreter named Takeshi Nagase (Hiroyuki Sanada), who was present and helped interrogate Eric during his torturing. Eric leaves to confront Takeshi at the prison camp where he was tortured, which has been turned into a war museum and where Takeshi is now working. 

This movie is based on a true story and has much raw emotion and a powerful message at the end. While Eric is being tortured on the inside though the war is long over, we see him wrestle with his inner demons and fight to figure out the "right" path as far as revenge goes. He's obviously suffering from PTSD and wants to seek closure from the wrongs that were done to him during the war. Along the way, we are treated to another performance by Colin Firth, a man seems to do no wrong. Also, his younger counterpart, played by Jeremy Irvine, does a fantastic job with not just his dialogue, but with the harder torture scenes as well. Between the two actors, we see a complete transformation of one person: Irvine plays the emotional younger Lomax, and Firth plays the stoic, hardened older man, and both compliment the role spectacularly. The same can be said for Tanroh Ishida and Hiroyuki Sanada, who both play Takeshi Nagase in this film. Ishida plays the younger, angrier translator/officer who is loyal to his country and is proud of what they are doing, whereas Sanada is the older, wiser, more apologetic and somber Nagase, who regrets the actions of his past. These performances alone make for a great viewing experience, though the subject matter is difficult to watch and quite violent. Supporting roles from Nicole Kidman and Stellan Skarsgard are also good as the two try to piece together what's going on inside Eric's mind and thoughts.

Beyond all of this, the message at the end is one that we need to think about more often as a society. War is not an excuse for all-out inhumanity, and this movie shows that. We were both very intrigued by this movie while watching it, and you feel the characters go through their angst, their fear, their pain, their need for closure.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 66%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

No comments:

Post a Comment