The Railway Children Return

#Review: The Railway Children Return

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Out this week in cinemas is the strangely placed sequel to the 1970s film The Railway Children. The Railway Children Return is about three children sent to the countryside during World War II to stay safe during the blitz. Away from their mother Lily (Beau Gadsdon), Pattie (Eden Hamilton) and Ted (Zac Cudby) have to come to terms with a new way of life in the country. During this time this trio have quite the adventure.

The Railway Children Returns is one of those films that is filled with a lot of that Sunday afternoon charm. The cast, especially the young members, are delightful and charming. Gadsdon is someone to watch out for. She’s fun, charming and has that presence that makes you want to root for her. Hamilton and Ted are also fun in their own ways and they make for an energetic bunch. Their back and forth is also brilliant.

It helps push the relatively predictable narrative and strenuous connection to the original film. With one of the original cast members of The Railway Children returning, Jenny Agutter as Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Waterbury, the film barely touches on her as a character. She’s in the film for a total of ten minutes and she’s only used as a plot device. People unfamiliar with her and the original film (like myself) won’t care about this strange choice to make this film a sequel when it easily stands on its own two feet as a children’s World War II film.

The Railway Children Return – A beautiful and scenic return

One of the more interesting elements of the film is the setting. The countryside is gorgeous and the cinematography gives off an idyllic sense to the world around the children. If there are any issues it would be with some of the acting. For example, Kenneth Aikens who plays Abe in the film comes across as amateurish and corny with his portrayal of a young American soldier who is being unfairly judged by the colour of his skin. It’s an interesting storyline to see the children deal with as they are beginning to see the darkness of the bigger world. He himself sadly doesn’t convey all of this needed weight and emotion so this heavy topic isn’t given enough depth in my opinion.

The Railway Children Return is a sweet and wholesome film. I had good fun watching it even though I had no connection to the original. With a charming cast and a story that will still resonate with families, it is sure to be a nice family day out to the cinema.

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