CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
Film Review: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman on Track in ‘The Railway Man’
CHICAGO – One the hidden implications of World War II was the suffering of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) from the millions of soldiers who survived the horrors of that war. The difficulties associated with PTSD are communicated with honor by Colin Firth in “The Railway Man”
The story is of a WWII veteran, played by Firth, whose obsessive and difficult nature is modified by a new wife, portrayed by Nicole Kidman. She seeks the truth of his behavior, and the secrets that are revealed could lead to his healing. Although the film had some real problems with timelines and composition, the sincerity behind it is authentic, and the truth of the narrative – based on the story of Eric Lomax – is reverentially displayed. Ever since “The King’s Speech,” it seems that Colin Firth has been flailing a bit, but in “The Railway Man” he reminds us why he’s is an award winning film actor.
Eric Lomax (Firth) is an obsessive compulsive bachelor, almost 35 years after his service in World War II, as a radio engineer captured by the Japanese in Singapore. His life changes rapidly after he falls in love with Patti (Nicole Kidman), and they marry after a whirlwind relationship. They met on a train, because Eric has a lifelong obsession with them.
Patti soon finds out that Eric has night traumas associated with his capture in WWII – he was forced to labor on the Thai/Burma Railway – and goes into a withdrawn state afterward. She consults Finlay (Stellan Skarsgard), his best friend and fellow soldier, and the story of their experiences are slowly revealed. Going between flashbacks of the actual event, and the couple’s struggles in 1980, the secrets of “The Railway Man” comes to light.
Healing Love: Eric (Colin Firth) and Patti (Nicole Kidman) ‘The Railway Man’’
Photo credit: The Weinstein Company