The English Patient

Tagline : In love, there are no boundaries.

Runtime : 162 mins

Genre : Drama Romance War

Vote Rating : 7.2/10

Budget : 27 million $ USD

Revenue : 232 million $ USD

Plot : In the 1930s, Count Almásy is a Hungarian map maker employed by the Royal Geographical Society to chart the vast expanses of the Sahara Desert along with several other prominent explorers. As World War II unfolds, Almásy enters into a world of love, betrayal, and politics.

Cast Members


"Hana" (Juliette Binoche) volunteers to remain in war-torn Italy to look after her badly burnt patient. Who is he? Well nobody knows. All he recalls is that he came from England and that some time ago he was married. The arrival of the enigmatic Canadian "Caravaggio" (Willem Dafoe) starts to unravel the mystery as his suspicions as to the bedridden man's true identity, along with that man's gradually more lucid recollections take us back to a time when he first arrived in North Africa. He is "Count Almásy (Ralph Fiennes) who has come to draw maps. The onset of WWII interrupts his cartography, but "Caravaggio" suspects that he proceeded to assist the Nazi occupiers. Did he? It's also clear that he had a deeply intense relationship with "Katherine", (Kristen Scott Thomas), a married pillar of the local colonial society. Slowly, but surely, Anthony Minghella ensures that the threads start to come together - but tragedy seems to follow the Count wherever he goes, and it isn't long before we fill in the blanks that led him to his present, terminal state. Meantime, "Hana" is falling in love with "Kip" (Naveen Andrews), a bomb disposal expert who, with his squad, has taken up residence on their lawn. What really makes this stand out is the glorious cinematography. John Seale uses the light wonderfully on the Tunisian Sahara, at the eerily beautiful "Cave of Swimmers" and at the various Italian locations that add huge richness to this gently unfolding story. Fiennes and KST have a wonderful, understated, chemistry between them; Binoche adds real integrity and humanity to her role, and though Dafoe features quite sparingly, his crucial part in unravelling this human puzzle is played deftly. There is no denying that this is far too long, and the pacing of the film could do with some added juice now and again, but the assembly of talent on display here delivers a classy mix of romance and ambiguity in a stylish and creative fashion.

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