The English Patient

The English Patient
-1996 romantic drama film based on the novel of the same name by Sri-Lankan writer Michael Ondaatje.
-Directed by Anthony Minghella
-Set before WWII, it's a story of love, fate, misunderstanding and healing. Told in a series of flashbacks.

Did You Know?
-Ralph Fiennes burn make up took 5 hours to apply every day
-Both Naveen Andrews and Kevin Whately had to learn how to operate motorcycles for the film
Hmmm, might have to check this out. I'm always up for a good, old fashioned love story.

-Set during WWII and shows a critically burned man, at first known only as "the English patient", who is being cared for by Hana(Juliette Binoche), a French-Canadian nurse in an Italian monastery. The patient is hesitant to reveal any info but through a series of flashbacks, people who watch the movie can see into his past. It reveals that he is in fact a Hungarian geographer, Count Laszlo de Almasy(Ralph Fiennes), who was making a map of the Sahara Desert, and whose affair with a married woman, Katharine Clifton(Kristin Scott Thomas), brought his situation to light. As the patient remembers more, David Caravaggio(Willem Dafoe), a Canadian intelligence officer and former thief, arrives at the monastery. He lost his thumbs while being interrogated by German officers and he reveals that it was the actions of the patient that had brought about his torture. In addition to the story, the film devotes time to Hana and her romance with Kip(Naveen Andrews), an Indian Sikh sapper in the British Army. Due to events in her past, Hana believes that anyone who comes close to her is likely to die, and Kip's position as a bomb defuser makes their romance full of stress

-In the 1st phase, set in the late 1930s, the minor Hungarian noble Count Laszlo de Almasy(Ralph Fiennes) is the co-leader of a Royal Geographical Society archaeological and surveying expedition in Egypt and Libya. He and his English partner Madox are at heart academics with little sophistication in the politics of Europe and Africa. Shortly, both the morale and finances of their trip are bolstered by a British couple, Geoffrey and Katherine Clifton(Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas). The Count is very attracted to Katharine. When Geoffrey is away from the group, an affair begins. The final months before the onset of the war, he Count's discovery of an ancient Saharan cave with "swimming figure" paintings ffrom the prehistoric times are found. Romance between the Count and Katharine get stronger. She is plagued with the guilt of infidelity, while he shows a streak of jealousy along with an imbalance that later haunts him

-The fall of 1939 and the war all bring excavation to a halt and Madox and the Count go their own ways. Geoffrey Clifton has pieced together the outline of the affair and seeks a sudden revenge: crashing his plane, with Katharine aboard, in the Count's desert camp. The wreck injures Katharine and narrowly misses the Count, and kills Geoffrey. He manages to take Katharine into the shelter of the swimming figure cave, leaves water for her, a flashlight and a fire and begins his 3 day walk back to the nearest town and help. The town is held by British Army and the dazed Count, with his non English name, is unable to explain his situation. He loses temper and is thrown into military jail. He is sent in chains on a train "north to Benghazi", escapes, finds himself behind Afrika Korps lines and quickly trades his desert maps with the Germans for a biplane. By the time he returns to the cave, Katharine is dead- and in all but a physical sense, so is the Count. He manages to bundle her body into the plane and take off. Ironically, a German anti-aircraft  battery shoots down the plane as he pilots it over the desert. Horribly burned, he is rescued by Bedouin tribesmen

-The film's 2nd phase shifts to Italy and the last months of the war. The Count by now is an invalid, and dependent on morphine and care of his French-Canadian nurse Hana. That monastery becomes the main point for the movie and it shows Hana seeing a fiancee and friend die in the Italian campaign and is left to wonder if her relationship with a British-Indian will break her chain of bad luck. A visitor named Caravaggio is in search of the Count that he thinks played a role in the problems in Egypt. He lost both thumbs to an interrogation by the Nazis and has killed those who he deems responsible.

-Hana finds solace in the film. Her lieutenant survives a brush with death on the last day of the war and her hope in love is made stronger. The Count asks for, and dies of, an overdose of morphine from Hana