The Railway Man appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image seemed strong.
Overall definition seemed good, with only a little softness along the way. Any instances of softness stayed minor and created no real distractions. I noticed no jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws remained absent.
As one might expect, the film opted for a stylized palette, though tints varied dependent on setting. The 1980 scenes used a golden impression or teal, while the WWII moments went with an amber tint. Within those choices, the colors appeared positive. Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows showed appropriate delineation. I felt pleased with the transfer.
Despite the story’s focus on characters, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack came with a fair amount of sonic pizzazz. Scenes on/related to trains used the spectrum well, and the flashbacks to WWII added a lot of involving material. These gave the mix many chances for active use of the five speakers and it created a broad, engaging spectrum.
Audio quality was solid. Effects came across as accurate and concise, and speech seemed natural and crisp. Music was lush and full as well. This became a better than expected mix with a lot of kick to it.
When we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from director Jonathan Teplitzky and co-writer/producer Andy Paterson. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas and editing, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, factual areas and related subjects.
Overall, Teplitzky and Paterson combine for a good chat. I do admit I’d like to know more about liberties taken and Eric Lomax’s real story, but that’s a pretty minor complain. The track moves well and covers a solid array of topics.
Hosted by journalist Lisa Ling, The Making of The Railway Man runs 26 minutes, seven seconds. It includes comments from Teplitzky, Paterson, author Eric Lomax and wife Patti, and actors Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Sam Reid, Tanroh Ishida, and Jeremy Irvine. The show looks at the story behind the film and its adaptation, narrative/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, and general thoughts.
The best aspects of “Making” come from our visits with Eric and Patti, as I like our chance to hear from and meet the real people behind the movie’s tale. Otherwise, however, this feels like an ordinary promotional piece. It throws out a smattering of decent nuggets but lacks a lot of depth.
The disc opens with ads for Philomena and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. No trailer for Railway shows up here.
At its heart, The Railway Man brings us a strong story. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always live up to its potential, as it seems a bit too scattered and rushed to truly succeed. The Blu-ray brings us very good picture and audio as well as an enjoyable commentary. Railway occasionally succeeds but it feels more inconsistent than I’d like.