The Bridge on the River Kwai Reviews
Whilst watching this movie, maybe it's my own personal perception, but I was able to spot areas of inspiration that would later influence other movies such as 'The Great Escape' and 'Cool Hand Luke', perhaps solely because this was one of the first and one of the best prisoner of war / "prison" films. The main area that I found amazing, was the stunning cinematography, it is completely revolutionary, like that in his epic 'Lawrence of Arabia' to follow, there were shots I was staring at in awe, compelled by the vast vistas of the Burmese landscapes, unsure as to whether I was watching a movie from the 1950's or modern day, it is completely stunning and ahead of its time.
Alec Guinness and Sessue Hayakawa are the main stars in this film, each one mad and each one resilient. Guinness, the British officer standing up for what he knows is right, Hayakawa, the Japanese colonel standing up for what he "believes" is right. The majority of the film focusses on the feud between the two characters and their eventual understanding, but also as Guinness's Colonel Nicholson slowly comes to realise what's occurred through his "madness" as in horror, he says "What have I done?" before landing the final blow. The ambiguity occurs when James Donald arrives, repeatedly quoting "Madness...", but at the same time it's a powerful punch to conclude the aforementioned scenes, it is completely riveting and complex, in it's character development and plot development. An utter stunner of the war genre, and (as a patriotic Briton) it's nice to see British resilience in the face of adversity at its finest, whether war or peace, we'll walk along whistling, holding our heads up high.
I will watch this film again to resolve my plot concerns -- but this must be a sign it was an excellent film!