It’s the story of Eric Lomax who has survived prison camp in the second world war, building the Thai-Birma railway in forced labour. Years later and still suffering the psychological trauma of his wartime experiences, with the help of his wife Patti and best friend Finlay, Lomax decides to find and confront one of his captors who had escaped prosecution as a war criminal He returns to the scene of his torture after he has tracked down Japanese officer Nagase in an attempt to let go of a lifetime of bitterness and hate.
When Lomax finally does confront his former torturer, what enfolds then is so powerful, the most powerful part of the film… I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Suffice it to say it had me in tears… This is a beautiful film with a beautiful message of hope and reconciliation and it is a true story to boot. I think the message at the end of the film may have hit home even harder in light of recent events in the world. Even so, it remains a very powerful message. It’s not only a film about dealing with the trauma of war. It is also very much the story of a marriage and standing by your partner in hard times and as a partner being part of the healing force. So beautiful.
All the actors in this film were excellent but I continue to harbour a special affection for Colin Firth. And Colin, my Colin, he delivered. That man always was a good actor. In recent years he has had roles that really challenge him to be even better and he has totally risen to the challenge yet again. He is amazing. I wonder how this has been skipped during awards seasons, which makes me realize more than ever that awards have so much to do with marketing and the timing of marketing. The actor playing the young Eric Lomax (Jeremy Irvine) did an outstanding job as well, by the way! And Nicole Kidman, although I am not a huge fan of hers, she really is very good too.
I will go back to this film to see it again and I will forever applaud it’s message of moving forward and hope. So very important in these times of upheaval to remember that reconciliation is possible… I hate to tell people what to do but I will anyhow and you can take it or leave it: go and see this film!