#TIFF13: “THE RAILWAY MAN
Based upon Eric Lomax‘s Memoir about his experiences as a World War II Victim forced to work on the Thai/Burma Railway, The Railway Man from Director Jonathan Teplitzky premiered at TIFF ’13. The Film recalls the torment he experienced during the War in his younger years (played by Jeremy Irvine) at the hands of the Japanese, after it is learned that he had built a secret Radio to receive news on the homefront to give his fellow Soldiers updates.
The emotional torture however doesn’t end simply there. Several years later Eric (played by Colin Firth) meets the Woman he eventually would marry, Patricia (Nicole Kidman), he would become painstakingly haunted by the events of the past. Finlay (Stellan Skarsgård), one of his Wartime Colleagues, brings it to his attention that an Interpreter named Nagase (Hiroyuki Sanada), who made Lomax‘s life miserable and almost unliveable, is in fact still alive. He then becomes obsessed with staking-out his revenge on his Tormentor.
Plagued by perhaps too much Melodrama, The Railway Man takes a gripping, emotional Story on paper and translates it to the Big Screen. Somewhere along the way though, it struggles in suspending our disbelief especially late in the exchanges between Firth and Sanada. Jeremy Irvine shines brightest of all in this Cast as the younger Lomax, emoting with startling conviction the grueling and saddening treatment to which he had been subjected. Its greatest shortcoming is the disconnect between Firth and Irvine‘s Lomaxes, at times feeling a bit incohesive. The greatest travesty is that the Woman most important to Lomax, played by the brilliant Kidman, is relegated to constant pleas to him to open-up about his past than a multi-dimensional Character.
No set release date has been established for The Railway Man, to be distributed by The Weinstein Co. in the U.S.