Nicole Kidman Weekend – The Railway Man (2013)

Director: Jonathan Teplitzky

Writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Andy Paterson (Screenplay) Eric Lomax (Book)

Starring: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgard, Jeremy Irvine

 

Plot: A former British Army officer, who was tortured as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II, discovers that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him.


Tagline – Revenge is never a straight line.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful True Story

 

Story: The Railway Man starts in 1980 where Eric (Firth) a train enthusiast meets a stranger on the train, Patti (Kidman), the two fall in love getting married. It isn’t long before Eric starts having terrifying flashbacks to his time in World War II, where he is held prisoner by the Japanese, here he is tortured by Takeshi Nagase.

With Eric’s behaviour only getting worse, Patti turns to Finlay (Skarsgard) one of the fellow prisoner of wars, that is still a close friend of his, he fills in the experiences the men went through under the hands of Takeshi, which will leads the older version of Eric to want to confront Takeshi or his time in the P.O.W Camp.

 

Thoughts on The Railway Man

 

Characters – We meet Eric at two stages of his life, we have the one that was tortured during the war and tried to do something to give the fellow soldiers hop in their prisoner of war camp, we also meet an older version that has been left traumatised with his experiences of the war, it has closed him off from the world, including his wife, he gets a chance to confront the soldier that tortured him, in a hope it could bring him closure. Patti is the wife of Eric, they meet on a random train journey and it is her love for Eric that first starts to seek help for him. Finlay is the closest friend to Eric, he has remained in his life after the years they have suffered through together, he fills in the blanks for Patti, after Eric closes up to her. Takeshi Nagase was the solider that tortured Eric during the war, he has since gone onto be the tour guide for the railway that was forced to be built by the English, he is surprised to get the visit from him former captive.

PerformancesColin Firth is brilliant here because he shows us just how closed off a man can be when they are dealing with the consequences of war. Nicole Kidman fits her role with ease, she plays the sympathetic figure that will help open Eric up again, showing us just how hard to is working to make happen. Jeremy Irvine as the younger version of Eric shows us the horrors of war with the pain his character must go through. Stellan Skarsgard does fill in the story telling side of the story, he will join in helping make the most of the traumatised man returning from war. Hiroyuki Sanada completes the main cast and he gives us a character that is filled with the regret of his actions in his life.

StoryThe story here follows a former prisoner of war that is still haunted by what he went through during the war and after he learns that the man who tortured him is still alive, sets out to confront him. This is an incredible true story that shows how prisoners can still be getting nightmares about what happened during the war, it shows they could close themselves off from the world. this does show us how the two men met years after the events, both are filled with memories they would rather forget and this has taken its toll on their lives for decades. It does pose the question about what you would do if you could meet the person that tortured you and what you would do, especially if it had come from during the war. Knowing this is a true story does help make it more amazing to think what Eric went through and how he would react if he could find the person that did it to him.

Romance/WarThe romance side of this film shows how Eric’s wife was able to try and pushing him to talk about what happened to him, showing her love would be what finally gets him to open up about the horrors of his war experience, the war side focuses on what it was like to be a prisoner of war, how they were forced into labour and tortured if they didn’t comply.

SettingsThe film has a couple of main settings, first we get the English home of Eric which shows him in his comfort area, we do see the prisoner or war camps which does show us just how horrific the locations were for the soldiers of war.


Scene of the Movie –
The embrace.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The do gloss over the older versions trauma too much.

Final Thoughts – This is an incredible true story that does show us just how difficult Eric’s life became after his time at war, it shows just how he had become effected and a meeting with the man that did this to him could change everything.

 

Overall: Brilliant true story.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – T – The Thing from Another World (1951) Movie Review

Director: Christian Nyby, Howard Hucks

Writer: Charles Lederer (Screenplay) John W Campbell Jr (Story)

Starring: Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, James Young, Dewey Martin

Plot: Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a bloodthirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Vintage Sci-Fi

Story: The Thing from Another World starts when Captain Patrick Hendry (Tobey) is assigned to take a team deeper in to the Arctic from an Alaskan post to join Dr Arthur Carrington (Cornthwaite) on his latest research mission, which includes the discovery of an unidentified object frozen beneath the ice.

When the crew discover a being inside the ship they return it to the facility, only it wasn’t dead, it escapes with Hendry wanting to destroy it and Carrington wanting to research it. Is the alien evil though, that is the question left for the team to discover?

Thoughts on The Thing from Another World

Characters – Captain Patrick Hendry is assigned to help on the facility, he takes his men up there, where he gets to meet his girl and clash with the scientist running the facility once the alien escapes from its frozen prison, he wants to make sure every human makes it back alive. Dr Arthur Carrington runs the facility, he plays the science side behind the discovery, he wants it alive, trying to understand how it could have survived for so long. Ned Scott is the journalist that gets allowed to join the mission, he is looking for the next big story which his time here could give the world. Nikki Nicholson is the secretary to Carrington, she has a past with Hendry and is the person who must give him the answers to what has been happening before he arrived.

PerformancesWe have a very big cast in this film, which is one of the weaknesses the film has, it doesn’t mean anybody is bad, it just gives too much for the small supporting roles to do, when they don’t need to be around, not letting the leads shine the way they could.

StoryThe story here follows a military team joining a scientific team on an Arctic research outpost where they discover a strange object in the ice, only for an alien to come out of the ice looking to kill the people on the base, forcing them to find away to survive. This is famously the original version of The Thing, which was the excellent remake, this story for the time does play into the unknown of exploring new locations, what you could find and whether they could be a threat or not. It does do a good job at showing the balance between military looking for safety and science wanting to answer everything despite the dangers involved.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in the film comes from the different attacks the thing does, we don’t see many, it is more implied just what it might have done, with the sci-fi side of the film focusing on the idea an alien craft could have crash landed and frozen in the ice.

SettingsThe film is set in the one location with the Arctic base which shows how the people there are stranded when they come under attack.

Special EffectsThe effects for the time are great, it shows how the work was still brilliant to keep Thing look like a threat.


Scene of the Movie – The Thing comes for the team.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Some of the fights are disappointing with the shock we could have seen.

Final Thoughts This is a classic sci-fi film that is easily one for the time that would have strike fear into the audience.

Overall: This is a classic of the time.