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The Railway Man Blu-ray Review

The Railway Man Blu-ray

“The Railway Man” is an emotional true life story.

Based on the book by Eric Lomax, “The Railway Man” centers around the train loving British author’s life as a Royal Signals Regiment POW forced to work on a railroad in a Japanese camp during WWII and in his post-war life where he falls in love with a woman (Patti) and struggles to get past the horrors he experienced during the war. While the story jumps back and forth between the two time periods, the primary story involves Eric confronting the Japanese officer/interpreter (Takashi Nagase) that was responsible for torturing him. What happens next? I will not say.

While “The Railway Man” has been criticized for sluggish pacing and manufactured dramatic scenes, these so-called flaws do not detract from this otherwise powerful story about forgiveness, revenge, pain, regret, the past, humanity, and war. While the material is admittedly tough to sit through, the ending really makes the movie worthwhile. While I would love to go into more detail about how it all ends, spoiling the climax would be a disservice to the viewer. Suffice to say, the ending really brings the point across and leaves the viewer wiping tears away (to say the least).

While the material itself stands on its own, the cast (particularly Colin Firth and Hiroyuki Sanada) gives some extraordinary performances. Firth, who portrays the older Eric, gives one of the best performances of his career as an emotionally scarred and haunted man who is struggling to move in life. Best known for appearances in “Lost” and “The Last Samurai,” Hiroyuki Sanada (who plays the older Takashi) gives a layered performance in a truly difficult role. He plays incredibly well off of Firth and when both he and Firth are on screen, it’s impossible to look away.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? The sharp, moody cinematography really shines here in hi-def.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? From the intimate character moments to the war sequences, this lively track handles the various sounds exceedingly well.

Extras include The Weinstein Company trailers, a 26 minute “The Making of The Railway Man” that contains film clips, cast and crew interviews, and discussions about the real history behind the film, and, last but not least, a solid commentary by director Jonathan Teplitzky and writer/producer Andy Paterson that touches on cast performances, set stories, Eric’s book, etc.

Overall Thoughts: You may not want to watch “The Railway Man” more than once, but it’s an important film that deserves to be seen.

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August 14, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review |

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