Movie Review: The Way Back (2010)

the way back poster

The background of The Way Back is as interesting as the film itself. It is loosely based on the book The Long Walk (1955) by Slawomir Rawicz, who was a Polish POW in the Soviet Gulag.  Controversy dates back to when the book was first published as there was no evidence that the events really happened, much less were truthful encounters of Rawicz himself. These two issues have boiled over for decades and probably will never be entirely put to rest. BBC claims that the alleged escape is in fact not his true story as he was released and did not take part in such a prison break. Instead, the events are said to be of another man, Polish WW2 veteran Witold Gliński, who’s claims will probably continue to be questioned as well. Investigations by BBC and the director, Peter Weir, suggest Glinski’s claims are true.

Siberian gulag escapees walk 4000 miles overland to freedom in India.” (IMDb)

So the movie is not an adaptation of the book but rather an inspired piece of (fictional) work. With that being said, this noise and controversy behind the book/film should not diminish the story much less our history in any way.The film is a drama set in the middle of a war and invasion about a group of prisoners who escape form Siberia and embark on ‘the long walk’ to India. This 4000-mile journey was the equivalent of survival and freedom. Languages in the film include English, Polish and Russian and it was shot in Bulgaria, Morocco and India. The Way Back is a human story with depth as it plays on faith, instinct and raw emotion. The film not only focuses on the journey and on the people taking the journey as everyone in the diverse cast pull off remarkable performances. The journey itself is larger than life with stunning visuals and harsh nature.

the way back 1

Starring: Jim Sturgess // Colin Farrell // Ed Harris // Saoirse Ronan

Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes // Meta Critic // Screen Rant // Twitch Film

aparoo’s words: war, invasion, prison, encampment, life, death, survival, freedom, peace, journey

aparoo says 5/5

Stream: YouTube part 1 // part 2

photo credit: Google Image Search