"The Railway Man" Movie Review: 2 1/2 Stars
by Michael Phillips
The concept of manly grief leads into so many dark areas and cultural expectations -- questions about how men are expected to bury their trauma long after the traumatizing event. Or else, how men are expected to examine it, reckon with it emotionally, when everything in their DNA and their upbringing tells them to keep it in.
In "The Railway Man," which has many problems but also has
The former signals engineer and lifelong train enthusiast made it to age 93, long enough to visit the set of the film mid-production.
Following the 1942 British surrender in
The miracle is simple: The men eventually met and became friends.
Lomax's story has been dramatized before, in a British teleplay, starring
It's more of a home-front war story, focusing on the strain Lomax's marriage underwent because of everything in his
wartime past. Screenwriter
The film begins in 1980 with the meeting of Lomax and his second wife-to-be, Patti, played by
Firth is marvelous throughout, and in the wartime sequences, Lomax in his 20s is played well and truly by a shrewdly
The story gets to you on various levels, even though director
Even when the film's cheating, Firth refuses to tidy up the fictionalized Lomax's emotional state. The actor, so good at playing stalwart men contending with inner demons, can utter a simple line -- "I don't think I can be put back together" -- and break your heart, legitimately, without histrionics. He's far more effective and convincing than the film overall, but Firth and co-stars Kidman,
MPAA rating: R (for disturbing prisoner of war violence). Running time: 1:48.
"The Railway Man" Movie Trailer
"The Railway Man" is a drama based off a true story from World War II. It is the story of a British Army officer who was beaten as a POW by a Japanese man. Years later he finds out that man is still alive; and now he is looking for answers. Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman star in this powerful film