English Patient, The
Reviewed by Sharon Turner
Rating: 7 Beans
riple-gonzooey ASS! Ok, so it won some Academy Awards, big deal. It's supposed to be a love story--for cannibals maybe! It's supposed to be a war story, well they do blow up a couple people and there are some Nazis, so yay, it wins on that front. Anyhoo, let's start from the beginning of the badness. This movie is based on a piece of literature (I refrain from saying it's based on a piece of poo because I haven't read the book) and told in flashback, the first of many contributing ass-factors.
The movie stars Ralph Fiennes as a Austrian nobleman, Count László Almásy, who is crispy-fried from a plane wreck, gets hauled away from North Africa and ends up in the care of Juliette Binoche, a French nurse named Hana who has just lost a bunch of friends to a mine incident. The flashback part has the notorious love affair with Kristin Scott Thomas, an English citizen Katharine Clifton travelling with her husband. Partially memorable is a shady character played by Willem Dafoe, Caravaggio, who makes an appearance later and steals some morphine from Juliette as so to make crispy-critter suffer.
Not only are there many side plots involving bombs and paintings and sweaty mens, but the main plot suffers too. Back in the past, Kristin and Ralph get separated from the other travelling yokels and get caught in a terrible sandstorm; they are already falling for each other at this point, but after this incident it's smooch city. They make it back to civilization in time to spend a lot of wasted conversation in a tub, things like:
Almásy: When were you most happy?
Katharine Clifton: Now.
Almásy: When were you least happy?
Katharine Clifton: Now.
Oh yeah...that's love.
Later in the flashback, her husband finds out, gets pissed and drags Kristin off in an airplane, Ralph runs after them only to watch the husband felluh crash the airplane. Hubbie is dead, Kristin very injured but they are out the desert. The lovers hole up in a cave, Ralph promises to come and get her and starts off across the desert. Long story short, she dies before he can make it back. He puts her dead body in the rescue plane and gets shot down, crashes and ends up crispy, has no reason to live, gets called the "English patient" because he speaks English, gets transported all over and then it is back to the beginning for more torture!
Save yourself from the mediocrity although I get the feeling that we'll be suffering from more of these emotional war movies soon since that generation o' people is almost gone and everybody's getting teary-eyed.
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