The English Patient Essay

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The English Patient was released in 1996, the same year I was born. It won Best Picture, and I have been curious as to the quality of the Best Picture of my birth year and whether or not it reflects my life in anyway. Hopefully, it does not reflect my life in the future (it hasn’t yet). Thankfully, my life has also not been as mediocre as this Oscar-winner.
Set during World War II, The English Patient stars Ralph Fiennes as a horribly burned patient (we later find out his name is Count Almásy) whom Hana (Juliette Binoche), a Canadian nurse, decides to tend to as he dies in a monastery in Italy. The film switches between the present day story of Fiennes and Binoche and the earlier story (which takes place before the war) of an unburned Fiennes and his love affair with Kristin Scott Thomas’ character Katharine Clifton. She is the wife of an important British man, but she falls in love with Almásy and the two engage in an affair in Africa (where they work and live).
Each of these three leads give admirable performances in their respective roles. Fiennes plays Almásy as a quiet, stoic man before his accident. He shows tremendous restraint and still conveys the passion within this character. He excels even more in the showier but still subdued role of Almásy after he suffers third-degree burns on his whole
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Aside from showing the harshness of the dessert in breathtaking aerial views, they also use color for thematic purposes. The flashbacks of the love between Almásy and Katharine are shot in warm hues that both evoke the dessert (not a harsh dessert but a welcoming one, if such a wasteland exists) and provide some warmth to the proceedings. The present day scenes, however, which show Almásy on his disgusting deathbed have a more somber, sterile gray tinge. This lighting underlines the events of the story
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