An ordinary adaptation of a rather extraordinary life, The Railway Man is a respectable if run-of-the-mill take on the story of British soldier Eric Lomax, a WW2 veteran and Japanese prisoner of war.
Based on Lomax’s autobiography, it stars Colin Firth as the titular railway enthusiast, who’s first seen meeting wife-to-be Patti (Nicole Kidman, arguably miscast), on a train in the ’80s.
It says something too that the most emotive moments come not with the finale, but with the real-life photographs glimpsed in the end credits. It’s here where the outcome of Lomax’s journey hits you, suggesting that his life story would’ve made a better hour-long TV special.
A fascinating life story, The Railway Man is doubtless a better book than a film. Firth and Kidman are not at their best, although Irvine proves his true talent.