The English Patient (1996) Review
World War II is coming to an end and we see nurse Hana (Binoche) taking care of dying patient and burns victim Count Laszlo de Almásy (Fiennes). His story of a great love affair is shown to us in flashback form.
Hana has not had the best of experiences in the war as everyone who she gets close to and love seem to end up being taken away from her in the form of death. She has only ever known tragedy. She becomes very close to Laszlo whilst keeping him comfortable. She is learning the story of the past and the man he used to be.
Laszlo’s love was for Katharine (Thomas) a married woman who was in the Sahara desert with her husband Geoffrey (Firth). It is obvious from the start that they have a connection with one another, that they cannot ignore after a while. The passion between them is breathtaking. It really did show that love can overshadow everything else and nothing else really matters. But with that love, we also see how jealous Laszlo becomes when Katharine admits that she can no longer see him. It is obvious from the start that while she does love her husband she doesn’t have the passion for him, they were friends and then eventually got married.
I found the scenes between Laszlo and Katharine incredible with the chemistry between Fiennes and Thomas. They really did come across as lovers and their passion for one another was just amazing. It really did make you hold your breath at times, so consuming. Quickly has become one of my favorite tragic love stories. Some of the things they were saying to each other as well were just so passionate and unreal. One of the best for me had to be “I can still taste you” said with such passion.
While we were seeing this great love story in flashbacks we were also getting the current story of nurse Hana and how she was falling in love with Kip and having a relationship with him. We don’t get her full background, but are kind of told that it has all been filled with sorrow and sadness. Nothing seems to go right for her, and she knows that Laszlo is not going to last much longer and that is another person she has to say goodbye to.
Tragic love seems to be a theme in so many films, and so many films which I find myself loving. Infidelity also seems to be a common theme in tragic love stories, and as with this one the woman being the character involved with two men. Something which is most commonly thought about as something a man would do. This helps show that love does happen in many different ways and you cannot prevent it happening, even if you are with someone else at the time.
I can see this film becoming one that I will watch many more times. It does have a long running time, but that seemed to fly over. Every moment of it was just incredible.