unlike most films, anthony minghella's the english patient conveys the depth of passion and romance between a man and a woman. its phenomenal performances, excellent direction, and emotionally & physically intimate connection between the characters make this one of the most powerful love stories of our time.
the story sets place in an old italian villa near the end of world war II. a nurse, a burn victim, a thief, and a combat engineer find themselves in each other's company while waiting for the war to end. through flashbacks of the past, we see the life and love affair between the burn victim (ralph fiennes) and a woman he fell madly in love with (kristin scott thomas). not only does this film explore the affair between these two people, but it explores the identities and relationships between all the people in the villa.
to me, the english patient is mainly about the relationship between ralph fienne's & kristin scott thomas' characters. it reminds me somewhat of the relationship between rick and ilsa in casablanca. fienne's character is the strong and silent type that never opens up until the right woman-in this case a gorgeous, adventurous blonde who has an absolute zest for life-releases all of his repressed passion. together, they make an unforgettable love affair filled with emotion and intensity.