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memento_mori's Movie Reviews (203)

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The Bridge on the River Kwai 
A war movie with something to say.
4/4 stars

I'm a huge David Lean fan for two reasons:
1. I'm a huge fan of Doctor Zhivago.
2. I also share a birthday with him.

Considered an American war classic, The Bridge On The River Kwai has a high reputation going for it, and I can now understand why it was my grandfather's favorite movie, because it is phenomenal.
I always love it when a 'classic' surprises me, because there is always the chance that it won't be the way you want it to be or expected it to be. Nonetheless, I am so happy it turned out the way I wanted it to and furthermore exceeded my expectations.
Every character, every plot line, every shot from David Lean is polished to perfection.
The characters work because they have distinct personalities. Saito is vicious and proud, Nicholson is stubborn and persistent, Shears is cowardly and a bit of a womanizer.
The dialogue they deliver is always spot-on and adds a lot of humor to the story. They just seen so believable and cool.
The editing for its time is very accurate and was worthy of its Oscar. It has a constant feeling of flowing and the way the film is constructed makes it all the more interesting and fun to watch.
Where it did open up to criticism for me, was the structure of the characters. I'm not sure how I feel about the way they are distributed, because the way they are presented in separate scenes makes me wonder which is the main character. They all have such distinct identities that it's hard to overlook one certain character, they are just so compatible.

It is by far the best anti-war movie I've ever seen.
Is it still murder is you kill someone during war? Can helping the enemy help you? Should you be ready to kill someone in an instant? Should you see moral principle or should you serve your country?
All questions asked internally through the excellent characters and bold direction in this triumphant feast of filmmaking, that isn't just a war movie for the sake of being a war movie. It has something to say. It has purpose.


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