8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A flawless war flm.,
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This review is from: The Bridge On The River Kwai [DVD]  (DVD)
This is a an exceptional film, which both entertains and moves you. There is little action -- everything is based on character on careful plotting -- although the action filled finale is blisteringly intense. The characters here are instantly likable. Even the awful Japanese general becomes less tyrannical, once you get to know what drives him and see that he is willing to work alongside the allies. It isn't historically accurate, but as a human story it works perfectly.
I found after watching this, that I questioned todays standards. Everything today is about epic special effects and artistic achievement. What happened to simple, humble, honest characters, the like of which are here in abundance? It sounds cheesy, but when they march into camp whistling the famous tune, you can't fail but to feel moved by the human spirit. The same when the troop start singing 'For he's a jolly good fellow' when their leader (superb Alec Guinness) is put into the box, for refusing to make his officers do manual labor.
All in all, I cannot recommend this enough. It isn't flashy or full of action, but is at least as good as anything today and the acting is of the highest standard. One disappointment, the extras mention an isolated score. I expected this to be something you could listen to, but it just means you have can only listen to the music when it happens in the film, so have to watch the film with some very large spaces of silence before any music starts again. It seems pretty pointless to me.
Apart from that minor quibble, I'd recommend this to anyone who can watch a film without special effects. As good a story, drama and war film as I've ever seen.