The Railway Man is the true story of Eric Lomax, a World War II veteran who helped build the Burma Railway (also known as the death railway). The film intertwines between his older self out of the war and his younger self in the war. In the war he was brutally tortured and interrogated for weeks so the Japanese could find out information, but as an adult he finds the man responsible for this torture and sets out to do justice.
The Railway Man gets very hard to watch on numerous occasions. The film is hard to watch not because it was a bad film, but because the film is very brutal, realistic and very emotional. Every scene of torture just… ergh… I really can't describe it and I really don't want to. It's just intense and realistic. I felt so bad for this poor guy and I feel even worse for him because he was a real person and he was put through all these horrific things. He took all the blame which is a courageous act as he knows that's not true.
The film is led by a sensational performance by both Colin Firth and Jeremy Irvine. Firth plays the adult Eric who is going after his torturer and he gives an astonishing performance that really got me emotional. This is helped by Jeremy Irvine for whom I've seen in a couple of other films and he has been excellent in all of them. Irvine is the younger Eric and his performance is on par with the one that Colin Firth gives. If the performances were sloppy by these two then the film would have been a disaster and we wouldn't have cared about this character. We'd care about the real person, but not the one being portrayed on screen.
The film is really emotional and upsetting. The Railway Man heads straight for your heart and hits you on an extreme emotional level that will leave more then a few people with tears in their eyes. This is helped, of course, by the sensation performances that I have previously talked about. The film is so well made that even if it wasn't based on a true story then I would have still been upset and emotional. That's how phenomenal this film really way.
To sum up The Railway Man is an extremely hard to watch true story that went straight for the heart. It was upsetting, intense, realistic, incredibly well made and led by sensation performances.