DVD: The way back

By admin
03 October 2011


2010. 127 min.

With Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Colin Farrell.

Directed by Peter Weir.


Rating: 4/5

Set during World War 2 this gruelling drama follows a group of prisoners who break out of a Russian labour camp and begin a 6 500-km trek across Siberia and the Gobi Desert to reach India – and freedom.

Led by Janusz (Sturgess), a noble Pole wrongly convicted of being a spy, the escapees include a tattooed Russian gangster (Farrell) eager to flee his debt to fellow convicts; Smith, a grizzled American engineer (Harris); and Irina (Saoirse Ronan), a teenage Polish orphan the group reluctantly pick up along the way.

The film is based on Slavomir Rawicz’s 1956 memoir, The Long Walk, since discredited as either a work of fiction or a mash-up of other prisoners’ survival stories.

It’s nonetheless an enthralling watch, refreshingly free of the overblown heroics often found in films of this type.

Instead it focuses on the often-unspoken bond between the men and their day-to-day battle for survival in some of the most extreme conditions on Earth.

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