Dark moments in Lisbon

by Bernard O'Shea

Last night I caught Night Train to Lisbon. Unfortunately it was not a real comboio (or trem as Brazilians would call it) but the film of that title. But nevertheless, armchair travel while you are sitting in a cinema with a big screen, and a glass of wine in your hand, is a pleasant experience.

The film has had mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it. A dull professor from Switzerland (played by Jeremy Irons) makes a spontaneous visit to Lisbon and begins to see the world in a new light. There is a love interest and some tense drama involving members of the Portuguese resistance just before the revolution of 1974 (“What if your first assignment was to kill your father?”). Here is the trailer.

It was great to see parts of Lisbon again on the big screen, and the film reminded me why it is one of my favourite cities.

The film is based on the book of the same name (translated from German) by Swiss writer Pascal Mercier, and judging by the reviews on the Amazon website, it seems to be one of those books that you’ll either love or hate. While many reviewers awarded it five stars out of five, some gave it just one star, saying it was long, implausible, pretentious and almost impossible to finish.

One review claimed that reading the book meant being subjected to “an involuntary language course in Portuguese“. Heaven forbid! There wasn’t much Portuguese spoken in the movie, so for a deeper immersion in Lisbon, you might like to buy the book. And you can also go to Lisbon via my travel website Time To Wander.

RELATED READING ON MY5R: Flower power: Portugal’s Carnation Revolution

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bearspawprint December 6, 2013 - 2:49 pm

Time to watch some flicks!! Thanks.

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Bernard O'Shea December 6, 2013 - 2:56 pm

Enjoy, cheers

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ladyofthecakes December 6, 2013 - 8:46 pm

I’ll be in Lisboa in a couple of weeks, YEY!

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Bernard O'Shea December 7, 2013 - 11:10 am

That’s great! What’s on your itinerary?

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ladyofthecakes December 7, 2013 - 9:01 pm

Eating cakes! What else?!

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Bernard O'Shea December 9, 2013 - 10:58 pm

Lol. Make sure you eat some in Sintra (great place) and Belem as well as the centre of Lisbon.

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ladyofthecakes December 9, 2013 - 11:08 pm

Will do! Thanks for the pointers 🙂 Although, where good cakes are concerned, I’m like a homing pigeon…

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wannabe polyglot December 7, 2013 - 6:18 am

I’ve always wanted to go to Lisbon! I’ll have to get that movie, thanks for the rec.

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Bernard O'Shea December 7, 2013 - 11:09 am

Hi, Lisbon is a lovely, laid-back city, one of those places that after a couple of days of getting your bearings, you just roam at will, as if you belong there.

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