Night Train to Lisbon

Night Train to Lisbon by the Swiss writer Pascal Mercier became one of the biggest successes in Europe after its publication in 2004, selling two million books. 

Nine years after it is now time to see the movie under the same name which now reached movie theatres worldwide.
The book tells the story of Gregorious, a man who incidentally bumps into a woman about to commit suicide on a bridge. Much to Gregorious relief, he manages to prevent the woman from putting an end to her life. The woman disappears out of shame or just to leave the man with a piece of paper in his hands which will change his life in the years to come. Left alone in the bridge Gregorious sees the bit of paper, written in an alien language, pretty similar to Spanish. He takes to a library to try to understand the words and comes across the book ‘A Goldsmith of Words’ by the Portuguese writer Amadeu de Prado. He soon decides to take the long journey south to Lisbon in order to find out more about this writer and to learn the language.
The book is the story of this journey and of a man who, by trying to find more about this writer, comes up with questions and the need to find answers to his life.
Lisbon is once again the final destination of a character, played in the movie by Jeremy Irons. It is not the first time this actor films in Portugal and it is not the first time Lisbon is the stage for the story of a man trying to a find a new path by going through his past in the process. This movie and book somehow take us back to Erich Maria Remarque’s “One night in Lisbon”, where a man recalls his past and tells his story to a stranger in one night in a city he was supposed to spend just a couple of days before pursuing his journey, but which ends up being his final destination.

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