Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Railway Man – Movie Review

I liked The Railway Man. It’s about Eric Lomax(Colin Firth) an introverted man obsessed with railways who at the age of 60 meets future wife Patti (Nicole Kidman)on a train journey. Shortly after the wedding we see the first example of a post-traumatic stress disorder episode; a flashback to the time when Lomax was a POW working on the Thai-Burma railway after the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in 1942.

The film alternates between these flashbacks, showing Lomax’s brutal treatment as a POW, and Patti’s attempts to coax him out of his shell. The younger Lomax is played by Jeremy Irvine. The film ends with Lomax reconciling with his former Japanese tormentor.

I thought the film was well acted and directed. There were a couple of oddities. First was fellow officer Finlay (Stellan Skarsgård) : Finlay was supposed to be Scottish but spoke with a Swedish accent throughout. The second more minor point was the use of 1960s train carriages despite the 1980 setting: something Lomax himself would have been first to spot. 3 stars.

Rush of Blood – Book Review

This was my first Mark Billingham book and overall I thought it was OK. The story starts with three British couples who meet on holiday in Florida but on their last night a teenage girl goes missing. After the holiday they keep in touch by each couple hosting a dinner party in turn. I found the first quarter of the book hard going. The chapters are not chronological: one chapter discussing dinner party preparations after the holiday, the next going back to the holiday itself. The couples are all unattractive small-minded people who dislike each other. The plot does get going about a quarter of the way through, and while I was hooked by this stage I still found the dinner party dialogue boring with too much unnecessary detail which slowed the pace down far too much. There was a twist at the end but unfortunately I could see it coming. Two and a half stars.