Posted: 04/19/2011


The Way Back on DVD and Blu-ray

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen

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Incredible but true… These conflicting words shouldn’t be describing a single event…yet they do. On April 19, Image Entertainment releases The Way Back, the thrilling story inspired by real events of seven escapees and the agonies they endured as they cross a brutal landscape toward a distant, safe haven.
The men escape prison and are forced to manage the icy, windy conditions of the Siberian countryside in order to reach the Mongolian border to safety, which is 4,500 miles away.
There is a bounty on each of their heads, and their captors have promised rewards to anyone who happens to bump into the gang of thieves and murderers who at first don’t trust each other. But in order to withstand nature at its most terrifying extremes, they must learn to rely on each other and overcome their suspicions.
After days of traveling and braving the harsh elements, while trying to scavenge and hunt for food (one among them who doesn’t eat meat and has been told that the others will just watch him die) they run into a young Polish woman. At first the men deny her entry into their little club, because they can barely feed themselves. But soon afterward, the group kills a cow and there’s food aplenty. They allow her to join the gang and she adds a certain something to the men who are without manners and are all funky and crusty looking.
Ed Harris doesn’t believe a thing she says, however, and he has her admit that her parents weren’t killed by the Russians in Warsaw, but that they are, in fact, Communists. Colin Farrell plays a foul-mouthed escapee with not much compassion for anyone. When one of their group mates freezes to death, he revels saying that now there is enough food for others.
The Way Back also stars Jim Sturgess and Saoirse Ronan, in this epic saga of survival; a trial of humanity and strength.
I loved this movie also for the cinematography; the landscapes were just sweeping and alluring.
Directed by six-time Academy-Award® nominee Peter Weir (Witness, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World), the film wowed critics and audiences during its theatrical run earlier this year. Oscar® nominated for Best Makeup, The Way Back is available on DVD and on Blu-ray™. Special features (both formats) include the original theatrical trailer, with a behind-the-scenes featurette.
The Way Back is the first film produced under the Exclusive Films label to be distributed through Exclusive’s subsidiary, Newmarket Films, in partnership with Wrekin Hill. National Geographic Entertainment and Imagenation Abu Dhabi co-produced the film as part of their joint production agreement.
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Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.

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