The Railway Man

Written By: Justin Leaney


This film doesn’t mess about. Eric Lomax a self declared railway enthusiast played by Colin Firth who falls in love with Patti played by Nicole Kidman. In an odd and comical first encounter on a train, the story quickly takes a rather beautiful and concentrated love story and runs with it to the point where the viewer is left thinking where are they going with this!? And just when you start to doubt the passage the director is taking he jumps out at you with a sinister tone, with a series of flash backs and nightmares and hallucinations, your very carefully introduced to the tortured mind of Eric Lomax, drawing you straight back in.

Patti feeling disconnected from her new husband Eric a WWII English veteran who starts to distance his tortured mind from his new wife, seeks to mend their relationship by going to the heart of the problem. She seeks council from Eric’s friend Finlay played by Stellan Skarsgard a veteran with whom Eric served in a British Outpost in Singapore, that was taken by the Japanese at the height of WWII, in an attempt to understand and help Eric overcome his past.

Now what is clever about this film is its ability to lead you into cliché moments that you can definitely see coming without making it feel forced or fake and never leaves you feeling detached from the moment, like a cheap Hollywood love story.

The only fault I can see with this eloquently told true story is the sequence leading up to Eric’s departure from England. In this sequence Eric is confronted by both his wife Patti and Finlay Subsequently he decides he needs to get closure and leaves England for Thailand and revenge. I’m not sure if it’s an editing issue but the reaction just seems unjustified. Eric rails off very solid reasoning for staying then exclaims ‘this is what you want!?’ to Patti and leaves, its just not enough.

Honestly though, I am nit picking. This is a very solid movie, well told and the cinematography is truly stunning. I give The Railway Man 4.5 out of 5 tortured minds.


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