Monday, 16 August 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 335

163 - The Bridge Over The River Kwai - 4 stars
It took me a while to really get into the film and that was mainly due to the fact that whenever Alec Guinness spoke I immediately thought of him as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Luckily I did manage to get past this and I am glad I did as it is a good film and one of Guinness's best performances.
He plays the commanding officer to a group of British soldiers in a POW camp. Initially there is a stand-off with his Japanese counterpart about the rules and regulations of running the camp, but this slowly gives way to a mutual respect and understanding.
This sets up the main crux of the film which is Guinness's stiff upper lip causes him to force his soldiers to actually design and build a bridge that would stand the test of time, despite the advantage this may give the Japanese during the war.
I would have loved to have seen more of the British soldiers actually building the bridge but instead the focus shifts onto a plot to destroy the bridge, led by an American soldier who previously escaped the camp.
As with all war films the story doesn't well for all involved but I wasn't expecting such a high level of tragedy. As perfectly summed up by a survivor "madness, bloody madness".

Days remaining - 30 Films remaining - 32

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