THE RAILWAY MAN – Rated R

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THE RAILWAY MAN – Rated R

If you are one of those people who love an intense War Drama, get ready to travel into the depths of World War II, as part of the English army, in the new dramatic film – THE RAILWAY MAN

Loving to travel only by train, Eric (Colin Firth) makes his travels by rail daily.  One day he happens to meet a beautiful widow named Patti (Nicole Kidman), who brings sheer joy into this life, as he is smitten from his first glance upon this beautiful creature.  Needing to make sure that their paths cross again, Eric finds himself frequenting train platforms until they have another “chance meeting”.  Patti too, is smitten with Eric, as they decide to marry, and make a life for the two of them.  Patti is surprised by the intense flashbacks that Eric is experiencing once they are living together, that are apparently from his Days of War.  She reaches out to his fellow comrade and good friend Finlay (Stellan Skarsgård), as she needs help and knowledge about what Eric endured during the war to help him become whole again.

As Eric plummets deeper and deeper into his depression and flashbacks during his capture, Patti is at a loss on how to help him.  Eric can’t seem to find a way out of re-living the intense torture he endured during his capture under Japanese rule in Saigon, as he sinks further and further from reality. 

Will Patti be able to save her husband and their marriage from the evils that dwell inside Eric?  Will Finlay be able to shine enough light on what they endured during the war for Patti to understand Eric’s sickness?  Or will the sheer terror that he endured become too much for Eric, Patti and their marriage? And will Eric ever have the opportunity to confront his captor and make him pay for what he did to him so many years ago?

I give THE RAILWAY MAN an A:  Although many scenes throughout the film are very intense, which is why it received an R-rating, Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman are absolutely superb, living out the real life drama of this English soldier trying to deal with the his capture and torture at the hands of the Japanese.  The RAILWAY MAN takes you deep into the depths of what many men endured during the war, and how their wives had to try to cope with their men when they returned.  And English actor Jeremy Irvine (you may remember him from WAR HORSE) deserves an Academy Award for his performance in this film.  How he filmed some of the cruelest of scenes throughout the movie is beyond me – as I could barely stand to watch him go through it myself.  This film also gives you a new perspective on World War II, as it is seen through the eyes of an English Army soldier, Eric Lomax, after the English surrendered to the Japanese – and thank God the American’s came in to end their misery.   Even though the film was as intense as it was, and I do not usually enjoy these types of films, knowing that this is a true story of one’s man’s life, made it all the more important for me to watch the entire film out of respect for what Mr. Lomax, and hundreds of thousands of other men went through to secure our freedoms to this day. 

Kathy Kaiser