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The English Patient, directed by Anthony Minghella, is a romantic, melodramatic
film which defines the art of cinematography. The internal and external rhythms,
lighting, camera angles, lenses, music, dialogue, and editing are displayed in a way which
conveys the meanings and themes to the viewer in such a clear and efficient manner.
Due to this fine exhibition, it is of the belief that film schools should use this piece of
artwork as a guide to students who wish to learn what cinematography actually is. So
poetically did this phenomenal cast tell the story based on Michael Ondaatje\'s novel, that
after each viewing , a greater love, understanding, respect and admiration arose without
any signs of boredom.
One of the numerous themes of The English Patient is the troubles, hardships and
ever lasting negative emotions that war causes. It tells us that: even if one is lucky
enough to escape the war without physical wounds, emotionally there is no escaping its
impact. All of the main characters undergo some sort of pain as a result of the war
between the Axis and Ally forces. The protagonist, Count Laszlo Almasy, a Hungarian
cartographer, perhaps has been struck the hardest of any. Almasy is rescued from his
plane after it is shot down and is soon mistaken for an English soldier. However, his
troubles continue as his body is burnt from head to toe leaving the majority of his body
immobile. Almasy is dependent on heavy doses of morphine in order to temporarily
relieve him of the excruciating pain that he suffers from. Also, if that isn\'t enough,
Almasy fails to save the life of Katherine Clifton, a woman who he loves so dearly.
Hana, the British nurse caring for Almasy, fortunately gets through the war without any
physical damage. Unfortunately, the same can\'t be said for the emotional impact that she
suffers from. At times, the pain is so severe that Hana wishes death upon herself. The
diligent Nurse feels as if everyone she has ever loved eventually leaves her. Hana has the
horrifying experience of seeing through her very own eyes the death of her companion
Jenny during an automobile explosion. In addition, Hana\'s job requires her to care for
war wounded, dying patients who rely on solely hope to survive. Hana sheds some light
on the situation when she meets, and perhaps falls in love with, the intellectual Indian
bomb specialist, Kip. However, as the war moves on and nears its end, Kip must transfer
positions leaving Hana alone with only Almasy and Caravaggio. This sudden departure
is just one of the several disappointments Hana faces. Minghella outlines this negative
theme throughout the film by displaying numerous tragedies.
There exists a parallel between this film and Enrique Maria Remarque\'s All Quiet
on the Western Front as both show the horrors of war. However, differences lie in the
fact that Remarque\'s novel took place during World War I and was a factual retelling. On
the other hand, The English Patient was based on a novel that set during World War II. It
is of the opinion that although The English Patient is a fictitious piece of work, the style
in which it was filmed made the viewers feel that it was as real if not more realistic than
Remarque\'s novel/movie. This was accomplished with the remarkable cinematography
involved in the making of this film.
Another theme of the film is that of love and romance. These two themes are
repeatedly brought out by the actions of the characters. The most illustrious example of
this lies in the relationship between Count Laszlo Almasy and Katherine Clifton. Almasy
first encounters Clifton, in the desert where they flirtatiously argue about the use of
adjectives in literature. Almasy later sees Mrs. Clifton in an outdoor market in Cairo
where Almasy shows his affection towards her for the first time. These feelings are
become evident through their powerful dialogue. Later, Clifton confronts Almasy about
him following her home after leaving the market during a slow dancing at a formal affair.
The married Clifton, at first reluctant to have any sexual relationship with Almasy, later
finds herself unable to resist temptation and soon falls in love with the obsessed Almasy.
The handsome Almasy shows his love towards Clifton in many ways including walking
for days across the deserts of Cairo hoping to find a doctor who can save the wounded
Clifton. The film extrapolates on their relationship by showing numerous sexual
interactions between the two. The love scenes displayed
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Film, Academy Awards, The English Patient, Lszl Almsy, Hana
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