Bridge On The River Kwai

Topics: Film, Geert Hofstede, British Empire Pages: 9 (3108 words) Published: December 4, 2013
Movie Review:
Bridge On The River Kwai

1
Movie Review: Bridge On The River Kwai

 Were there parts of the movie that were confusing or hard to understand? o For example: a characters intention, sequence of events, etc? A part in the movie which was confusing was when Nicholson decided to assist the Japanese in building the bridge. He becomes so obsessed in building the bridge (which he regarded as a symbol of British efficiency and resourcefulness, which will be remembered for times to come) that he fails to identify that he is collaborating with the Japanese even when he was informed by his own medical officer. He becomes so blinded by this that he, a man of principles and one who follows rules mentioned in the Geneva Convention is willing to make his officers work for the timely completion of the bridge.

Saito tells Nicholson that it will not be necessary to bring the copy of the Geneva Convention and walks away making the silence/no-response response speak for him. Due to the indirect form of communication it is hard to follow if Saito means that Nicholson should not bring the book because he has previously read it and now that it has been brought to his attention he will not make the British officers do manual labour or that he has read the book but will still make the British officers do manual labour. Making silence speak instead of words and the indirect form of communication gives the essence of a reactive culture.

Another part of the movie which was hard to understand was when Nicholson fell on the detonator at the end of the film. It is unclear if Nicholson had an intention to destroy the bridge or if it was a mere accident. His last lines “what have I done” do clarify his intent but due to the fact that he falls on the plunger there was no ample clarification for the same. There is a possibility that due to his love for the bridge built by the British soldiers he had just proceeded towards the plunger to disconnect it, however, dies while doing so and hence falls on it instead.

 What was the best thing about the movie? What was the worst? The best part about the film was the way Nicholson stood by his principles and persuaded Saito to not make his officers do manual labour and hence go by the rules mentioned in the Geneva Convention. The astonishing part about this was that this was taking place in a POW camp where the bargaining power was higher with Saito than Nichonson. Nicholsons’s leadership abilities made his officers not give in to Saito and start manual work, and hence continued to be punished in the oven. His leadership abilities are portrayed well when the British medical officer comes to meet him at the oven, Nicholson was more concern about his officers than about himself even after he was deprived of food and water for numerous days. His pride and patriotic qualities facilitate him to stand by his word against Saito even after physical and emotional harm is being inflicted on him during the period of negotiation. On the other hand I feel that 2

Movie Review: Bridge On The River Kwai

Saito underestimated his BATNA (Best alternative to a negotiated agreement). I feel that during the time of positional bargaining with Nicholson, ultimately carving under pressure and letting him out of the oven, Saito should have used his own soldiers for the bridge (till such time Nicholson was persuaded to make his men work) and created more discipline and collaboration among the workers for the timely completion of the bridge. I feel that there was little room for principled negotiation as Nicholson was not willing to do so.

The worse part of the movie was the collapse of the bridge in the end. A bridge which was the cause of various negotiations between Saito and Nicholson, in the process resulted in numerous threats, blackmail and infliction of physical and emotional harm from Saito to Nicholson and consequentially got Nicholson himself killed. By the collapse of the bridge all that seemed...
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