DVD Review: The Way Back


Reviewer Dexter Kong
Rated: 12
Release Date: May 09, 2011 (UK & Ireland)
DirectorPeter Weir
CastColin FarrellMark StrongSaoirse RonanJim SturgessYordan Bikov , Dejan Angelov

The Way Back is an epic war drama, set during World War II. It is inspired by The Long Walk, a book by Sławomir Rawicz, a Polish POW. Directed by Peter Weir, whose diverse CV includes the likes of The Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show & Master & Commander.

This is a joint production between Imagenation Abu Dhabi FZ and National Geographic, probably due to the nature of the locations, with stunning scenery beautifully captured by cinematographer Russell Boyd.

It follows the escape of Janusz (Jim Sturgess), a Polish POW, from the Siberian Gulag. A notorious prison that, given it’s incredibly harsh conditions, most cannot and will not try to escape from. His journey will take him 4000 miles overland, in a literal walk to freedom in India.

First though the film begins with a sobering message “three men walked out of the Himalayas and into India”.
Whilst this is a triumph, it is a sobering message, as you come to grips and realize over the course of the film, that all those who set off on the journey will not make it.

It boasts a strong cast (Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Dragos Bucur.. to name a few), who deliver superb performances all round. The bond portrayed between them is incredibly strong and well built upon over the duration of the film.  The characters are very engaging and emotive, making the tragic events that befall them all the more devastating. Even in the villainous Colin Farrell you find a certain sense of camaraderie, as they are joined in this bond for survival. Each character was representative of a different emotional state; innocence, humour, fortitude.. etc,  and as the groups starts to dwindle it’s almost as if the soul is being slowly stripped away.

The amount of different landscapes they go through in this film is stunning and only adds to the realistic sense of an incredibly long and arduous trek.

The Way Back is an emotionally exhausting film, but delivers an incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking experience, that is every bit worth the journey.

Movie Rating: 4.5/5




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