Set in the early 80s, Colin Firth plays Eric Lomax, a former second world war P.O.W. The movie hurtles through his meeting and wooing his wife Patricia (Nicole Kidman): they meet and are married in the first ten minutes. It's only after the wedding that we (and perhaps his wife, but it's so rushed it's unclear) discover that he has a pretty bad case of what's now known as PTSD. The movie then flashes back for nearly an hour to Lomax's experiences during the war. (Young Lomax is played by Jeremy Irvine.) He, along with many other British soldiers, was captured at the fall of Singapore by the Japanese. They were then used as forced labour to build a railway from Thailand to Burma. But when Lomax is caught with a radio receiver the prisoners have built, he's beaten and tortured.
In the 80s time-line, Lomax is informed that the translator who tortured him is not only still alive, but working at the war museum built on the camp where Lomax was tortured. Lomax packs up and heads for Thailand.
I'll leave the plot there: if you're not aware of the story, prepare to be surprised. I'll add that this is based on Eddie Lomax's autobiography.
The structure of the movie is ponderous, and Colin Firth is actually too young to play Lomax (who should have been 60+, not 50). But the performances are good, I was interested in the history, and the outcome is extraordinary. Worth seeing.