Patti Lomax (Nicole Kidman) plays the wife of Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) a British Army officer whom was forced, along with thousands of others to construct the famous Burma-to-Siam railway. This was also known as “The Death Railway” as it claimed the lives of over 100,000 forced labourers and prisoners of war. Lomax fought from the inside out, bringing the war to the enemy from inside the walls of servitude, this drove him to survive.
The torture of prisoners of war by the Japanese is notorious throughout the world and has always been a controversial subject. This story is no different and retells Eric’s account of torture and extreme deprivation. It has a very similar theme to Bridge over the River Kwai (1957) and marks the surrender of allied forces to the Japanese in Singapore.
As it happened Lomax was a lifelong railway enthusiast and would have had the necessary skills to be able to significantly assist the Japanese if he had so wished. The story is about the resistance that he and many others showed to this process during their internment. Due to this resistance and the secret radio that he built to inspire his fellow prisoners Lomax was separated from the rest and tortured. Lomax survived this horrific ordeal and comes to terms with this trauma later in life along with the assistance of his wife Patti, a reality that is examined by the film in brutal detail.
Patti attempts to help her husband but is stonewalled by his reluctance to face the past and the silence of his brothers in arms. Eventually and later in life Lomax decides to face his demons and seeks out his torturers, much to their dismay.
The film stars Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Hiroyuki Sanada, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine, Tanroh Ishida and Yutaka Izumihara. The film is in theatres from the 10th January 2014.
Lomax died in 2012 aged 93 in Berwick-Upon-Tweed.