The Railway Man Movie Review
Nicole Kidman is the wife of The Railway Man in The Railway Man, an exciting thriller of the Railway starring a Man and The life and death of The Railway Man. Railway. Sorry, Nicole Kidman is the wife of Eric Lomax, a WW2 veteran living in a miserably bleak seaside town in England, trying to find out why her husband is so haunted at night, during the day, and only seems to live for the railway. His best pal Stellan Skarsgard isn't saying anything. Then for act two he says everything. Which involves torture, abuse, morale destruction over in Thailand/Burma and the story of hope beyond hope. Then in act three, we see redemption as Colin Firth's Railway Man, not the wife of the Railway Man, attempts to confront these dark demons, almost in a Liam Neeson-type way, and then in a happy way, and then Wife Of The Railway Man pops back in and the film ends. Why is Wife Of The Railway Man the focal point for half of this film when she has no pivotal role in The Railway Man? Frak knows, but Nicole Kidman gets plenty of screentime to listen to Stellan Skarsgard exposition-talk.
Featuring some really strong performances from Kidman, Skarsgard, Firth, Hiroyuki Sanada and especially Jeremy Irvine as young Eric, it's irritating that the be-all end-all of this feature is that the performances are really strong, because goodness knows why there's such a wealth of quality here when the film has tediously slow pacing, a misshapen narrative, poor framing structure and only about average visuals for a prestige picture like this. There's so little else worth noting beyond the acting that it irritates that they all didn't just phone it in and leave The Railway Man as a terrible film, as opposed to an utterly forgettable one with just quality acting on show.
Just when you think The Railway Man might zig into something itneresting, it zags away, and when it zags into a torture sequence with Colin Firth's middle-class action hero, it zigs back into sweet happy drama, thus evading everyone's sense of interesting story or cinematic moment completely. A big sigh of a film that you'll forget as you leave the screen it's playing in.