Night Train To Lisbon DVD Review

DVD Review by Jon E Clist
Night Train to Lisbon

The Premise
About an aging Swiss professor of classical languages who, after a chance encounter with a Portuguese woman, quits his job and travels to Lisbon in the hope of discovering the fate of a certain author, a doctor and poet who fought against Portuguese dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar.
The Review
We live in a world where information is so easily found, in fact it is probably to disseminate the huge quantity of facts. I can’t begin to tell you of how many times I have come back from a movie screening or having just read an article and then headed off to sites like Wikipedia and the like to find out more about the stories behind what I have just seen or read. The thirst for more information is so often easily quenched in this modern information age. Here though in Night Train to Lisbon we have the story of a man who after stumbling on an interesting book, ends up on the trail of the stories behind the story. It is kind of like the whole Antiques Roadshow viewing experience. We see the items and we hope there is a brilliant story behind their existence. Something that will surprise us and challenge us. Here the lead character finds a book and as he starts to read it, he gets drawn into the mystery behind the book and its tale.

As he finds the elderly versions of the characters in the book he begins to find more of what drove them to do the things they did as a part of a country's revolution. I really enjoyed watching the story unfold, both in the modern time and the flashbacks that show the back story. The journey of discovery builds at a nice pace that doesn't run too fast or too slow and hence keeps the interest flowing with strong anticipation.  Jeremy Irons does such a masterful job of playing a teacher who looks at his own life as plain and boring and yet through this investigation he finds a new purpose. The chance to make impulsive decisions and take chances. Not only does the story unfold but also the lead character changes and grows throughout it.

Of course the surrounding cast are also brilliant and bring a truly international feel to the film along with its European authenticity. I think for me one of the most outstanding members of the cast is Jack Huston as he plays the writer of the book that is central to this whole story, Amadeu. He has really stepped into the limelight of late after his breakthrough role as the one eyed sniper in the hit Tv show Boardwalk Empire and more recently as Jack Kerouac in the dramatic Kill Your Darlings. He brings a wonderful energy to this character of which the entire tale revolves around.
The Verdict
A brilliant drama with a dynamic storyline that keeps you engaged throughout. Well worth a visit to the cinemas.
The Trailer
The Info
Releases: 22nd May 2013
Rating: M - Contains mature themes, violence and brief sex scene
Duration: 111 minutes
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Jeremy Irons, Mélanie Laurent, Jack Huston, Martina Gedeck, Charlotte Rampling, Christopher Lee
Director: Bille August (Goodbye Bafana, Les Miserables)
RRP: DVD $29.99 Blu-Ray $29.99
The Extras
Vanessa Redgrave was originally cast for the role of Adriana de Prado, however Charlotte Rampling replaced her.