“The Railway Man” is an impressive and poignant tour de force surrounding the life events of Eric Lomax, who must wrestle with the emotional ramifications of his time as a British soldier captured by the Japanese and thrown into a POW camp during World War II.
The film takes place in both the past and present: The older Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), is plagued by recurring flashbacks of his horrific capture in his youth. His wife (Nicole Kidman) tries to help her husband while not being able to truly understand the emotional turmoil inside Eric’s mind.
As Eric looks back to his time at the prison camp, his younger self, played by Jeremy Irvine, is subjected to brutal and harrowing abuse. It’s not just a story about survival; it’s a journey of a once optimistic man to a mentally mutilated one.
The performances in “The Railway Man” make up for a dull script. Firth and Irvine seamlessly play versions of Lomax with ease. It’s easy to understand Lomax’s misery, because the torture scenes are downright savage.
Ultimately, “The Railway Man” is a story of redemption and forgiveness. “The Railway Man” is a film that may seem like a history lesson at first, but it’s a necessary film that deserves to be seen because it packs a gut-wrenching punch.