A story rich in possibilities for irony and black humour, but despite the huge running time (two hours forty-one minutes!) it gives more screentime to conventional, expertly staged daring-do than satire and Nicholson's stuffy hubris. The magnificent '40s Lean of "Oliver Twist", all economy, chiaroscuro and sharp editing, seems bloated beyond recognition. But Jack Hawkins and Guiness are always watchable.
People remember "Bridge" so much as one of the great adventure movies—which it is—that they forget how much is going on here: a tension between opposing code-bound militaries that end up sharing the same goal, with Our Hero (William Holden) wanting nothing more than to get out. Of course, the tragedy is that in the end, he becomes equally obsessed with seeing his mission through. Much like the audience. 5 stars.
What is perfect about Lean's "Kwai" to me on a personal level is how it captured my imagination and thrilled me as a child, and now, more than anything, it puts despair and fear in my heart. How fitting, considering the legions of idyllic youth who were drawn to the romanticism and adventure of war, and were then shattered by the reality of it.
yep,its official:i'm not into David Lean. it is just,despite his superior technical ability behind the camera,i never fully emotionally involved with all of his movie.and this last movie from him that i've seen (after Dr.Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia) just justified it.
A splendid film on every level, even if it does lose its way a bit in the second half. Christopher Nolan should be forced to watch it until he understands the difference between Intelligent Action Films (like Lean's KWAI) and Pretentious Bullshit (Nolan's entire output).
This is the definition of epic. Lean was the Master of the Epic and this, in my opinion, is his greatest epic, but I am a sucker for a great ensemble with a grand setting. Everybody is perfect in this film.
Lean can do no wrong. The first time I watched this was with a bunch of college guys using reels and a projector in our dorm lounge. None of them had seen anything past 1980 and every cheered at the end. One of my favorite film experiences. Endlessly watchable.