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The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1 viewing)

There is a key element of what divides this film from Grand Illusion , I wasn't referring to the 20 years of film-making - I'm referring to the second World war.

Bridge on the River Kwai starts off in a Japanese POW camp , where we see a new group of British soldiers arrive , led by a resilient leader (Alec Guinness) - they are ordered to build a bridge over the nearby river. The poor treatment of the soldiers forces the British leader to stand up for his troops rights : which gives you a basic idea of the first half of the movie.

Although I did find the first half much more intriguing and entertaining , the second act made no waste of what was set up in the first. Alec Guinness who I've never seen aside from Obi-Wan , plays his character so strongly - it feels as if this giant three hour epic rests upon his shoulders. This movie is enormous in every way , each shot in the movie captures huge environments and massive amounts of actors with each a job to do. The action scenes benefit vastly from this style of camera work , not to mention the amazing scenes of the bridge being built.

It's also a film that knows when to reward your patience , nearing the end it started to drag on a little - my main complaint being the advancing soldiers felt out of place. The prisoner side of the story is filled with complex morality , nationality , and emotion , but the other side seems bent on their mission and doesn't feel anywhere near as realistic. Bridge does well combining these two unequal factions though and delivers a truly cinematic ending.