JosephMaher's Rating of The Bridge on the River Kwai

Joseph's Review of The Bridge on the River Kwai

5 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai(1957)

The Bridge on the River Kwai opens in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1943, where a battle of wills rages between camp commander Colonel Saito played by Sessue Hayakawa and newly arrived British colonel Nicholson played by Alec Guinness. The film is a work of fiction but borrows the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942"43 for its historical setting.This movie is filled with well written snappy 50's dialogue and stars great actors who deliver it. Particularly Alec Guinness, who plays a tough as nails British colonel with unbreakable principals and will. He believes that war should be fair and fought by the rules and fought like gentlemen. Easily one of the better war movies I've ever seen but not among my favorites unfortunately. The whole time I was watching this I couldn't help but wonder why they didn't just over run the camp. They had the man power but I suppose that's not the English way but with lives at stake it seems like the most logical thing to do. Suppose that's just a modern take on the situation. It would of been too easy an answer for a movie that doesn't really have one and that kind of brute force victory is not what the movie is about. I'm not sure if the British actions were admirable or stupid though. When your enemies have no humanity and you go by the book it my be a moral victory and honorable but your risking a lot of deaths among your men. I like what building the bridge stands for and the attitude the colonel brings to the operation. Which is basically if you're going to to it you might as well do it right. They get a sense of achievement but ultimately they're still helping the enemy.Complicated and intriguing to say the least. It's a long movie but it doesn't drag, if anything was cut it would be worse off for it. I find the old movies I watch that are deemed classics never really live up to the title but The Bridge on the River Kwai does, ts epic quality sustains its length. There are some stunning shots of nature in this particularly the bats which really are breathtaking. There's no easy answer for the situation they're in and whether you agree with how they handled it or not it makes for a good story. It pushes all the right buttons. It's immensely suspenseful, superbly acted and brilliantly shot. A magnificent classic.