A new review from The Movie Snob.
The Railway Man (B). Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) and the lovely Nicole Kidman (Stoker) star in this drama, which is based on a true story. (We are told this right up front, to increase the emotional impact.) The year is 1980. Eric (Firth) and Patti (Kidman) meet cute on a train in Scotland, and straightaway they fall in love. But Eric is wrestling with some serious post-traumatic stress disorder, and in desperation Patti seeks answers from one of Eric’s old army buddies, Finlay (Stellan Skarsgård, Mamma Mia!). Reluctantly, Finlay tells her what he knows. During World War II, both men were captured by the Japanese during the fall of Singapore, and Eric was brutally tortured in ways even Finlay doesn’t know about. A great deal of the movie is told in WWII-era flashbacks, and although the torture scenes aren’t terribly graphic by today’s standards, they were plenty strong enough for my taste. Ultimately, 1980 Eric decides to return to Thailand and attempt to exorcise his demons at the scene of the crime. Firth gives a nice performance, as does Jeremy Irvine (War Horse), who plays the young Eric. Kidman isn’t given a whole lot to do but be worried and loving and supportive, but she looks nice doing it. It’s really a pretty straightforward and predictable movie, but I thought it still packed enough of a punch to justify an above-average grade.