Nicholson obsesses on building the bridge his way, Saito is so pressed for time and has to concede, and Shears, rescued by the British, is voluntold to embark on an operation to destroy the same bridge. A fun time is had by all.
Bridge on the River Kwai is a wonderful character study. The three main characters (plus others) are fundamentally different in their perspective. Duty and self interest collide with obsession. Watching them interact was great. Some of the best acting I've seen yet. Sure, it's long. Sure, not much in the hot babe department. Watch it anyways. Now let's talk about the bridge.
The movie is based on a true story. Some details were changed to make it a fictitious story. The Japanese Colonel wasn't all mean, the bridge wasn't built in three months, and the whole ending part didn't happen at all. In fact, historians took exception to a great many things. Please don't get hung up on such matters and think of it as a great movie BASED on a true story. Like Lord of the Rings. AMRU 4.
"I know how you feel, but there's always the unexpected, isn't there"