DECADES after the cessation of hostilities in World War II, a British returned serviceman discovers the whereabouts of the Japanese soldier who brutally tortured him on a daily basis. With full approval of his friends and the support of a loving wife, this haunted survivor travels halfway around the world to kill the man who almost killed him. If you were unaware, The Railway Man was based on a true story, you could easily write the whole thing off as only- in- the- movies hokum. It most certainly is not. Eric Lomax chronicled his remarkable personal odyssey in a moving memoir, which took out several literary prizes in the 1990s. Despite the torrid experience ahead, The Railway Man never releases its grip on the viewer. Colin Firth is magnifi cent as Lomax, in an unshowy, sometimes even unlikable, performance that does justice to the confl icted person he is playing. The support Firth receives from Nicole Kidman ( as wife Pattie) and Stellan Skarsgard ( as Lomax’s lifelong mentor and confi dante) are also of crucial importance.