Captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore and subsequently shunted to the infamous Burma railway construction site as slave labour, British officer and lifelong railway enthusiast Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) was systematically tortured by for constructing a transistor radio.
Years later, still suffering the lifelong effects of the brutality and degradation meted out, Lomax meets, and subsequently marries, the demure Patti (Nicole Kidman), only to find that thoughts of revenge will not leave his mind.
Encouraged by a fellow veteran to seek redress on behalf of all those who suffered at the hands of the Japanese, Lomax finally travels to confront his sadistic captor, Nagase, who is now a tour guide.
Based on the autobiography of Lomax, The Railway Man is an often harrowing look at war and its subjugation of the human spirit, and more importantly, how the scars accrued in both combat and capture never fully heal. For Lomax and his torturer, meeting again sparks memories of atrocity in both, and a willingness to meet somewhere along the jungle path of reconciliation.
The Railway Man is a moving portrait of anger and forgiveness, not only between enemies, but between men and their own minds and men and their lovers, proving that ultimately, everyone is a casualty of war and its aftermath.
The Railway Man opens in cinemas on December 26.
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