Sunday, December 25, 2005


I’m one of those godforsaken cinema heathens that didn’t know much about this movie other than its signature WHISTLED THEME SONG. And I’m ashamed to admit that what I knew of that I got from The Breakfast Club.

Well, now I know what all the hoopla (and whistling) is about, and I’m glad I’ve finally seen it. But I’m also glad I knew very little about this movie beforehand. Knowing just the basic premise -- American and British prisoners held in a Japanese work camp during World War II and forced to construct a bridge -- I had made a lot of assumptions about how the movie would play out. In my mind, it was somewhat closer to Papillon and The Great Escape with a bridge building project thrown in the middle. Luckily, I was very wrong. That is, in fact, only a portion of the middle of the movie. But what makes the movie a classic are those unexpected elements at the beginning and the end.

Don’t worry, I won’t spoil those elements. Just go in whistling and knowing nothing and you’ll be well-rewarded with one of the most entertaining and slyly effective epics on the absurdity of war that you will ever see.

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