Has no one else found it highly peculiar that damn near everybody's choice for the best movie of (let's say) the decade should be dedicated, inferentially but absolutely, to the proposition that Courage is Madness and Cowardice is Best?
For what it is, it ain't bad, though it serves mainly as an illustration of the ancient quandary of revisionist moviemakers: if all you do is systematically invert cliches, you simply end up creating new ones.
Part of the success of The Bridge is that its courageous hero is shown from all angles, in all kinds of mirrors. He is strong, stubborn, fallible, maniacal, silly, and wise; and in the end he is pathetic, noble, and foolish.
An epic movie which is large in scope and personnel, The Bridge on the River Kwai speaks of the code of honour amongst men during war, the respect shared by enemies of war, and the madness which war evokes.