HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
Studio 666
Great Movement, The
Lost in La Mancha
Cellar, The
Sacred Spirit, The
Chess of the Wind
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Scream
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Way Back, The Gotta Walk
Year: 2010
Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Saoirse Ronan, Colin Farrell, Dragos Bucur, Alexandru Potocean, Gustaf Skarsgård, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Igor Gnezdilov, Dejan Angelov, Mariy Grigorov, Mark Strong, Stanislav Pishtalov, Sally Edwards, Zahary Baharov
Genre: Drama, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In 1940, as the Second World War raged in Europe, one Pole, Janusz (Jim Sturgess) had been exiled to a Siberian gulag after being set up by the controlling Soviet authorities in his occupied home nation who forced his wife to testify against him. Although he refused to sign any confession, they packed him off East anyway, and soon he was enduring a living hell in the prison camp, though one fellow inmate, Khabarov (Mark Strong) offered a ray of hope. It was a long shot, but there was a chance they could escape into the surrounding wilderness...

The Way Back was taken from a book that inspired readers across the globe and sold in its hundreds of thousands of copies, but then, as with many such true stories, the question arose about precisely how true the story was, with the original writer found to not have walked countless miles out of harm's way at all, and was actually set free from his sentence back in the forties. Not that this prevented it from being a rattling good yarn, and you could see what attracted filmmakers to it, the director in this case being Peter Weir who had built up a strong following thanks to his singular way with a story, and most appropriate for this, how Mother Nature behaved.

Trouble was, in this the last thing the characters should have been doing would be to stop and admire the scenery, but that was what Weir's wonderful photography and selection of shots practically invited them to do. So captivating were the visuals that the simple storyline was lacking in any shade, and the anti-Soviet sentiment was trowelled on as much as the appreciation of the landscapes, without apparent irony that the escapees were trading one kind of tyranny for another, more natural one. This also meant that any personality the actors attempted to bring to this was drowned.

So in spite of a cast that included some impressive talents, really they might as well have pressed the button marked "Stoic" in their arsenal of emotions and gone with that throughout the whole of the running time, and indeed it appeared that many of them did just that. Ed Harris played the sole American prisoner who speaks English, and leads everyone else to do the same after an opening half hour of many subtitled conversations though why they should defer to his lingo is only explicable when you know that this was made with American money from American companies. At the beginning of the film a caption comes up to tell us that three of the men survived, which gives the game away but what you don't know is which ones out of the eight or so do.

One you can count on who does not is the sole female member of the excursion, another fugitive who is a teenage girl, Irena (Saoirse Ronan), someone they find on their travels and adopt as a kind of mascot. Even she makes only as much of an impression as is necessary, as there is no humour here, and the only reason to cheer up is when they stumble across a carcass in the snowbound forest or water in the desert; even when they cross the border into China their joy is shortlived when they notice Communist insignia there. Their destination is India, so not only is there a desert in the way but a mountain range, and the odds are stacked up against them. But as an experience you grow less interested in the struggling characters and more in the territories they are travelling through, because Weir really did take them to far flung areas; another drawback is that it's a more technical achievement than a tribute to prevailing humanity, basically because that bit is made up. Music by Burkhard von Dallwitz.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2815 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Peter Weir  (1944 - )

Australian writer and director with a touch of the mystical about his work, usually fish out of water dramas. After various short films, he made The Cars That Ate Paris, a darkly funny horror which nearly ended his career when it failed financially. But he bounced back with Picnic at Hanging Rock, an international hit which led to apocalyptic fantasy The Last Wave, war tragedy Gallipoli and political thriller The Year of Living Dangerously, whereupon he moved to Hollywood to direct Amish thriller Witness, survival tale The Mosquito Coast, Dead Poets Society (possibly his worst film), comedy Green Card, spiritual air crash drama Fearless, science fiction satire The Truman Show, historical adventure Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and WW2 era trek movie The Way Back.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: