Ghosts of the past haunt a former British Army officer in Jonathan Teplitzky’s respectful and polished drama.
Based on the best-selling autobiography of Eric Lomax, The Railway Man uses a patchwork of flashbacks to recount the writer’s treatment at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army after the fall of Singapore.
Director Jonathan Teplitzky doesn’t shy away from the most harrowing episodes of Lomax’s story, including a torture sequence which depicts Japanese officers using water-boarding to extract information from their prisoner.Another scene, much closer to home at a Scottish train station, is equally chilling.
While Teplitzky’s picture lands a flurry of punches, it doesn’t quite deliver a knockout blow, even in the final act when Lomax attempts to confront a Japanese officer he holds responsible for the war raging inside his head. Like the smartly dressed man at the story’s centre, the deepest emotions remain tightly buttoned.