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The English Patient Movie Review (9/10)

Posted on March 9th, 2002 filed in Movie Reviews    |   

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Summary:

At the end of World war II, Hana (Juliette Binoche) a Canadian nurse, stays behind the departing convoy to tend to a severely burnt man, Count Almasy (Ralph Fiennes), a Hungarian cartographer recruited by the British to map the North African Sahara Desert. A series of flashbacks unfolding the various events that marked Almasy’s journey is complicated by the arrival of two men, each with his own agenda, to the hospital.
Review:

‘The English Patient’ is a poetic and sensual tale of a beautifully intense wartime romance (Reminiscent of Lawrence of Arabia and Casablanca), and an obsessively destructive forbidden relationship. It is executed in style through a powerful script by Anthony Minghella, his skillfull direction, fascinating cinematography by John Seale, fabulous performances by Fiennes, Thomas, and Binoche, and a haunting soundtrack by Gabrielle Yared. Quite understandably, it swept 9 Academay awards including Best Director, Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, Best Musical Score, and Best Cinematography.

The movie tone is set from the very beginning as the credits are projected on rolling sand dunes shaped as a sensual female body.

Almasy shines through as the dispirited passionate scientist under the spell of a married woman. one can feel his pain, weakness, vulnerability, and self doubt as he succumbs to his heart (The organ of fire) overtaking his senses.

Fiennes’ performance is matched by Kristin Scott Thomas as she flawlessly captures and delivers Kay’s sensuality and her sophistication. It is famed that Kristine Scott Thomas, a relative unknown then, beat heavy weights (e.g. Demi Moore) in securing the role after sending the director a letter letting him know that she is K in his story. We undeniably concur.
Almasy and Kay undeniable chemistry transcends throughout and their heat is felt every step of the way. Their love scenes are passionate, intense and very erotic.

Director Anthony Minghella slowly unfolding the story through flashbacks renders it more personal, more intimate. The script is powerful throughout, and poignant at times (reaching unforgettable heights with injured Kay in the cave scene as she makes Almasy promise h

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