Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Retro Reviews: The English Patient (1996)
You'll Need A Lot of 'Patience' To Sit Through This
Recently, I've watched a bit of the episode of Seinfeld called "The English Patient" where Elaine is forced to sit through this movie, and she found it to be so torturous that she had to yell at the screen and I wanted to watch this movie to see if it really was as bad as she said it was. While I don't feel the same way about this movie as Elaine does, I still found it to be pretty torturous and Boring with a capital B.
The English Patient is set at the end of WWII and a nurse named Hana (Juliette Binoche) is assigned to tend to a burn victim (Ralph Fiennes) who recalls a love affair he had with a married woman (Kirstin Scott Thomas) while on his death bed.
What I Liked About It:
Now, this section is going to be pretty short because I didn't enjoy this movie, but I thought the scenery in the desert was pretty cool. Plus, Willem Dafoe gives a nice supporting turn as David, a thief on the run. The good stuff ends there.
What I Didn't Like About It:
Where do I begin? Well, first off, the movie was WAY too long, with a runtime of 2 hrs. and 46 minutes and they have a few subplots thrown in, one involving Hana going into a romance, which don't add to the story. Because the movie deals with a love affair, it seems to glorify adultery, which has been pretty evident to be a bad thing. If you were to take away the "epicness" of the film (war setting, moving musical score, excessive running time), then it's a simple love story and nothing else. So, it's pretty much an overglorified love story.
Overall, The English Patient is an overhyped, overlong, boring mess that didn't deserve any of the praise that it received. It's just a glorified love story that adds nothing new or special to the table. If you really like love stories, then what the heck, give it a shot, you might like it more than I did, but if you're not a fan or you hate love stories, don't even bother. This movie could work as a cure for insomnia.