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The love of his life

The love of his life

Australien/Großbritannien 2013 - with Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Irvine, Stellan Skarsgård, Hiroyuki Sanada ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:The Railway Man
Direction:Jonathan Teplitzky
Cinema release:25.06.2015
Production country:Australien/Großbritannien 2013
Running time:Approx. 108 min.
Rated:Ages 12+

Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) is a very reclusive man. His social contacts are limited to regular meetings with other war veterans. Otherwise, his passion for trains and their schedules rule Eric's daily life. This changes when he meets the nurse Patti (Nicole Kidman) during a train ride. Despite his very reserved nature, sparks immediately fly between the two and they fall in love. The beginning of a great love story, which soon seems to find a happy ending in their wedding. But the longer Patti is together with Eric, the more she notices that he is plagued by inner demons. Eric doesn't want to and can't reveal to his wife what keeps giving him nightmares. It is only from his best friend Finlay (Stellan Skarsgård) that Patti learns the harrowing truth about Eric's captivity in World War II and the traumatic experiences in the Far East that torment her husband to this day - a torment that Eric must now face once again...

When Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman adore each other on the movie poster, the whole thing is called The Love of His Life and starts extremely romantic, you can actually assume that you are dealing with a great love story and gentle emotional cinema. But this impression is very deceiving. Because the romance between Eric and Patti is only the trigger for the former loner to deal with his traumatic past. Much of the film shows young Eric Lomax (Jeremy Irvine) during his wartime captivity, where he was forced to work on the construction of the infamous Death Railway in Thailand and is brutally tortured by the merciless Nagase (Tanroh Ishida) when a homemade radio is found on him.

These scenes are extremely intensely staged and repeatedly punch the viewer in the stomach with full force. The quieter moments when Patti desperately tries to access Eric's memories also barely allow for a real breather, as they too are emotionally upsetting after the very tender and positive beginning. So all in all, The Love of His Life is very heavy fare - but despite many dark aspects and harsh images, it leaves the audience with a very positive feeling that can definitely be described as a feeling of happiness. For the final act shows how important it is not only to come to terms with such experiences, but also how essential forgiveness can be for both sides.

This true story shows how pointless it is to let hatred and feelings of revenge rule your life. Even though one cannot forget, forgiveness is what makes life worth living again. In order to convey this adequately, director Jonathan Teplitzky and screenwriters Andy Paterson and Frank Cottrell Boyce worked closely with the real Eric Lomax until his death and also had long conversations with Takashi Nagase. Colin Firth delivers a performance that is outstanding in its subtlety, revealing a tremendous intensity, especially towards the end. But also Jeremy Irvine and Hiroyuki Sanada deliver performances that stay in the memory for a long time. Nicole Kidman, on the other hand, has a rather thankless role as a quiet observer, but makes it clear time and again why her Patti is the love of Eric's life.

Jonathan Teplitzky has succeeded in creating a stirring, gripping drama that is at times difficult to stomach, but overall conveys a very, very beautiful message. That this is conveyed so magnificently by the actors then makes The Love of His Life: Absolutely Worth Seeing!!!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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  • The love of his life
  • The love of his life
Cinema trailer for the movie "The love of his life (Australien/Großbritannien 2013)"
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