JONATHAN Teplitzki’s translation to film of Eric Lomax’s account of his terrible experiences as a PoW brutally punished by Japanese guards for building a radio receiver to listen to reports of the progress of World War II is mind-blowing and transcends Col Nicholson’s fictional suffering in “Bridge On The River Kwai”.
“The Railway Man” observes Lomax’s gentle courage in war and peace, living with his demons in war’s aftermath and meeting and marrying Patti who encouraged him to return to Thailand and confront the Japanese interpreter who treated him as a personal enemy.
The portrayals of Lomax by Colin Firth as Patti’s husband and Jeremy Irvine as the young subaltern who endured are commanding. Nicole Kidman is lovely as Patti. Stellan Skarsgard is quietly influential as Lomax’s fellow prisoner Finlay who catalysed his decision to make the journey. And Hiroyuke Sanada is impressive as the middle-aged Nagase whom Lomax found guiding tourists around the railway.
“The Railway Man” offers significant measures of anger, cruelty, courage, anguish, compassion and love.
At Dendy, Greater Union, Palace Electric and Limelight from Boxing Day