The Way Back

TWB is a small story played out against a humungous backdrop – Siberia, the Himalayas, the Gobi Desert. It features a mismatched band of escapees from a Soviet gulag who set off on foot in a winter snow storm, and end up walking 4000 miles to India. Think The Incredible Journey, but with people.

Once the luckless group are free of the camp though, it’s not human beings that are out to get them, but the elements – this is God’s own territory in it’s most resplendent form, and fuck with it only if you will. (he’s a petty, angry, vengeful God at best.) I’m always reminded when I watch films set in this era of both my Grandfathers, their “greatest generation” and the things they walked through so that I could be the fat, spoiled, self-indulgent wanker I might be today. We will never see their like again.

TWB is splendid to look at – Aussie Director Peter Weir knows a thing or two about showing men out of their comfort zones – and the scenes in the prison camp were disturbing and intense. I thought the choice of accents was odd but Colin Farrell (who I’ve always thought was a bit of a tosser) nails his right down hard and fast. He’s surprisingly good. The Himalayas stuff filmed in India, the desert scenes in trusty Morocco and the prison camp in Bulgaria. It’s the first time I’ve really seen Bulgaria work on screen.

One Reply to “The Way Back”

Comments are closed.