Film Review: The Railway Man

The Railway Man

Drama The Railway Man is a well executed true story which boasts great performances from its cast.

Eric Lomax was one of many of Allied prisoners of war forced to work on the construction of the Thai/Burma railway during World War II. Years later, Eric’s experiences still haunt him…

Based on a true story, director Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man is highly effective at conveying the trauma of war and its after effects, even decades later. Teplitzky’s depiction of more emotional moments has enough restraint to never appear melodramatic.

The narrative of The Railway Man is an amble rather than a swift jaunt. here is a lull in the middle, but the film recovers from this. The Railway Man is a bit of a slow burner, but still suitably engaging.

It is a few key scenes in The Railway Man which offer drama and tension. Without these scenes, the film would not have worked. The flashbacks, as well as the film’s climax, are engrossing.

What is most thought provoking in The Railway Man is its final act. The film’s conclusion generates a tension which makes it compelling. Given the emotions at play, it is easy to imagine the film having a different outcome. However, The Railway Man ends on a reflective note, which is satisfying.

Cinematography in The Railway Man is great. There is some superb composition from cinematographer Garry Phillips. Sound design in the film is also particularly effective.

Colin Firth offers a solid performance as the older Eric Lomax. Hiroyuki Sanada is also great as Nagase. It is Jeremy Irvine however who is most convincing in his role as the younger Lomax. Nicole Kidman fails to emote successfully thanks to her lack of expression.

The Railway Man presents an important story, balancing historical representation with a very human angle.