Tuesday I watched the Riddick movies, while working. The first one was mostly Meh. The second was way more fun, with the Necromongers and such. The third was the best of the three. Poor puppy.
Today, Gert and I went to see The Railway Man after work.
It’s a movie after a true story about a man, Eric Lomax, stationed in Singapore during World War II. After the surrender of Singapore by the British in 1942, he and his fellow soldiers are captured and transported to work on the Thai-Burma railroad. Because Lomax is a radio man, he and his troop are at first kept in relative good conditions. But then the men start building a radio. And when it is found, Lomax takes the blame. Despite it being a radio only capable of receiving signals, he is extensively tortured because the Japanese believe he has been sending signals. One of the men torturing him is Interpreter Takashi Nagase.
After the war, Nagase escapes prosecution by pretending he never did anything but interpret. Lomax gets sent home and learns to sort of live with his experiences. Years later, he marries Patti. And when she discovers how deep his trauma runs, she sets in motion a sequence of events wherein Lomax travels back to the place where he was held. There is a museum there, now, and a Buddhist Temple. And Nagase is the tourguide there.
What follows is a deeply emotional meeting between the two where they try to reconcile the past and find a way to live with what happened instead of despite of it.
The movie takes a few liberties with the real story, notably in how the meeting between Lomax and Nagase plays out, but on the whole I found it deeply moving. The movie is slow (some might say too slow) and heavy; it cuts deep, both in the flash backs in the camp that depict the torture Lomax had to endure, as well as in the current time where the scars of that earlier time are still clearly visible. It is well served for ruminations about Human Nature, what one does in the most dire of circumstances to survive, how and what it does to you in the long run, and what is needed for true processing and dealing with things.