Colin Firth specialises in playing stoic men, who seem serene on the outside, but who are experiencing deep emotional turmoil underneath and The Railway Man is no exception. That’s the verdict from Justine Toh from the Centre for Public Christianity, who reviewed the film for Hope Mornings.
Like the famous film, Bridge over the River Kwai and the less well-known To End All Wars, The Railway Man portrays the horror of conditions on the Thai-Burma Railway during the Second World War.
Eric Lomax was serving as a Signals Officer in Singapore when it fell to the Japanese in 1942. He and his countrymen were taken captive and forced to build the Thai-Burma Railway. Eric was discovered building a radio and was therefore tortured at the hands of the Japanese. He survived his torture, but it continues to take a terrible toll on his life.
Fifty years later, Lomax discovers that the interpreter who interrogated him is still alive and is now guiding tourists around the site of the railway. This discovery leads first to anger, but later to a meeting between the two old enemies.
The Railway Man is not just another war story, but a tale of forgiveness and reconciliation:
“This is the genius of forgiveness,” says Justine Toh. “It actually breaks the cycle of violence… There’s something redemptive about forgiveness. It releases people.”
Listen now: Justine Toh from the Centre for Public Christianity reviews The Railway Man on Hope Mornings.
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