Paradise Road review

Wartime action, extreme violence, a shower scene - - they're all here in Bruce Beresford's Paradise Road. But be warned: this is a film about women held prisoner by the Japanese during World War Two, women who battle against misery not by tunnelling out to freedom, or jumping motorbikes over barbed wire fences, but by forming a choir and belting out cheery acapella harmonies. Is it Tenko with singing? Well, yes and no. Paradise Road sounds like a bucket of bollocks on paper, but it's eminently watchable, thanks to some superb acting (Glenn Close, Frances McDormand), fantastic cinematography and plenty of harrowing drama. Admittedly it's too long (128 stretched minutes), but Beresford plays down the la-las and concentrates on the unsettling action. So-so - - but who's going to watch this on a Friday night?

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