The English Patient
 

 

 

 

 

It is both a very gently nuanced film, yet it is one that is simply bursting at the seems with passion. Fiennes and Scott-Thomas show us more passion with their eyes and their glances at each other than they do in any other way. Add to this the fact that Fiennes rarely speaks and is not the archetypal bad guy - Scott-Thomas is far from a femme fatale and you can get some idea of the calibre of the performances.

The cinematography in the film is breathtaking. John Seale really caught the desert in all of its glory. The morning shots of the desert are particularly beautiful as are the aerial views. The desert, especially, the Sahara and its huge, rolling dunes, can be gloriously colourful and beautiful and Seales managed to capture all of that on film, enhancing the film's beauty and its atmosphere. One of the best parts of the cinematography is the treatment f the flashback scenes. Sand dunes dissolve into crumpled sheets, Scott-Thomas's hand dissolves into the hand of Almasy as he is dying. Seales found a way to bridge the time gap visually in the most perfect manner.

I'm not really sure why this movie was not more successful at gaining those over hyped American Academy Awards.  Audience reaction was also mixed with the complex plot put off those looking for an action epic or a chick flick . Maybe the passionate but ultimately destructive relationship put off those looking for a formulaic happy-ending fluff romance. Maybe these people just don't like thinking during movies, because this movie doesn't lay everything out for you and you have to work to figure out character motivations, plot, symbolism, etc. But to me, all those things that this movie isn't only adds to its richness and beauty.

 

 

 

                        

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The English patient