The Bridge on the River Kwai
Personal Lessons and Insights

December 15, 2001


Brief Plot Summary

A group of POWs build a bridge for the enemy while trying to keep their civility.


Interest Character

I found Col. Nicholson (Alex Guinness), the British leader of the captives, to be an interesting character. Throughout the time that the prisoners were held in the camp, he made sure that all of the proper regulations were followed, even risking his own life in "the box" to make sure his officers were not forced to work. He held the regulations that protected his men over himself, and was willing to lay down his life to make sure that both were preserved. His conviction, the strength with which he held his beliefs, was of an admirable quality, and is a trait that I find myself utilizing on a daily basis.


Interesting Scene

I found the scene where the British special forces team attempts to blow up the bridge to be interesting. After putting himself and his men through such hard work, Col. Nicholson tried to thwart the attempt on the newly built bridge. It is understandable that after months of planning sessions and hard labor, and after barely meeting the deadline, the Col. would want to keep the tribute to his men alive and well.  He only realized his error after watching two of his comrades slewn before him. However late it was, the Col. still made the right choice by blowing up the bridge. Even if it's aiding the enemy, it must take alot of devotion to be able to destroy something you put so much time and work into.


Something this film made me think about.

This film made me think about the psyciological effects being a prisoner of war must have. Other films like "The Great Escape" portray the captives as full of life, attempting escapes and remaining confident and witty. It seems to me, however, that the very point of a POW camp is to break the spirits of the men held there. Under physical and mental stress form day in to day out, and random shows of force, I cannot imagine how anyone could still keep his wits about him. Although I don't intend to find myself in the jungles of Peru any time soon, it seems to me that both physical and mental fortitude play an important role in life. Mental fortitude plays a big part in being able to hold and defend your own opinion, thus playing some role in confidence, and is certainly a skill worty of attention. Even though a person may be confident, having a low mental fortitude can cause them to give up thier opinion if an argument is held against it.

Original Web Upload December 2001
Last Update: December 17, 2001