By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist January 10, 2014 at 9:37AM
We’ve seen Colin Firth overcome a stutter, win an Oscar, and launch England’s involvement in WWII with “The Kings Speech," but in the actor’s first historical drama since, we witness the other side—the severe emotional trauma present in many soldiers afterwards. “The Railway Man” pairs Firth in that situation with the possibility of revenge, and after several international trailers we’ve got the first stateside look at the Jonathan Teplitzky-directed drama.
Based on Eric Lomax’s autobiographical account of his time spent in a WWII Singapore POW camp, the film depicts Lomax’s journey—both in flashback as he contributes to the Burma-Siam “Death Railway,” and also later as Firth falls in love with his wife (played by Nicole Kidman). Then, as his nightmares grow worse and the man (Hiroyuki Sanada) who tortured him all those years ago enters his life once again, the stage is set for a crucial decision that could repair or destroy his life, a part of which is hinted at in a new trailer and clip.
Teplitzky’s drama, which also stars Jeremy Irvine and Stellan Skarsgård, premiered at TIFF last year to a muted reaction (ours included), commending the performances but not necessarily the picture’s rather safe and tension-light approach. If the pairing of Firth and Kidman compels you though, “The Railway Man” might just be the ticket as it hits U.S. theatres in the coming months.