The Monday book isn’t a book this time because Wendy is getting close to a deadline for HER current book, so Jack is doing this post and it’s a movie (because he hasn’t read any interesting books lately!)
I’m a sucker for memoirs and war stories so I was intrigued when Netflix offered me ‘The Railway Man’ – a movie based on a memoir of the same name by Eric Lomax. Lomax was from Edinburgh in Scotland and was captured by the Japanese army during the fall of Singapore during WW 2.
The movie apparently received mixed reviews when it was released, but I must say that I found it riveting. Lomax is played by Colin Firth and his wife Patti is played by Nicole Kidman – both, in my opinion, playing right at the top of their game.
The story is relatively simple. Lomax is fascinated by railways and after capture is sent to work on the notorious ‘Burma Railway’ (think Bridge on the River Kwai). He suffers terrible beatings and torture but remains focused on the railway he’s building. Finally, he survives the war but he is psychologically broken.
On his return, the only people he can relate to are other ex-POWs and he continues to be fixated on railways, traveling around the UK cataloging timetables and logging journeys. On one of these journeys he meets the recently divorced Patti and falls head over heels for her.
They marry and Patti sets out to rescue him from his self-imposed mental exile by becoming friends with his best friend who had shared the horrors of Japanese imprisonment.
That’s as much as I’m going to tell you, so you’re going to have to watch the movie or buy the book (which I certainly intend to do – films never have enough time to do it properly!)
My favorite scene, of course was a dream sequence where Colin Firth was knocking on a door in North Queensferry in my beloved county of Fife with the glorious Forth Rail Bridge behind him – the whole thing was worth that!
Four thumbs up – – –