‘1 Man 365 Films 365 Days’ – Day 8

Yet again only the one film viewed today and I know this doesn’t bode well if I am going to succeed in my quest for film viewing immorality!

So I have pledged to myself a *marathon* viewing session very soon…

#9 / 365 – ‘The Way Back’ – 133 mins
Cinema Challenge #3 / 115

Set in 1940 this sees the true story of 7 prisoners escape from the notorious Russian Gulag prison system in Siberia and embark on a 4000 mile trip over harsh terrain to India to gain their freedom.

The first opening 20 minutes of this film you feel you are in for an excellent epic from veteran director Peter Weir who brought us the classics of ‘Dead Poet’s Society’, ‘Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World’
However after this it just fails to deliver once the prisoners have made their daring escape which itself is pretty laughable, this was one of the most violate prison systems in the world and here they are pretty much allowed to open the door and walk free unhindered. This then is how they are allowed to continue as they cross the vast landscapes, because they are met with no resistance whatsoever – evil or friendly.

It has first-rate cast in Jim Sturgess, Mark Strong, Ed Harris and Colin Farrell who is brilliant as the edgy and slightly crazy Russian thug Valka.

Unfortunately you just feel yourself literally being dragged along with the escapees in the mammoth 133 minutes running time where there are really no standout scenes to note. ‘The Way Back’ played with the idea at the beginning that it had the ambition to be great film but after that it lacked the conviction to be anything but.

I would say the only plus points along this plodding adventure is that it employs some breathtaking wide-angle cinematography of those vistas, to which can only be appreciated on that Cinematic screen.

To conclude then, after enduring tremendous highs of survival in ’127 Hours’ earlier in the week, I was abruptly brought back down to earth with a bang.

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