The Friday Rant - 05.08.11

A few hours of my life that I can never get back, and for that reason I have despised this film ever since I went to see it in the cinema back in 1996 with my folks and younger brother. Quite why I did go and see it is a question I have been asking myself ever since, but on my list of top ten most turgid piles of horse manure films I have seen in my life, nothing comes close to toppling the crap that is The English Patient off the top spot. Not even the fourth Indiana Jones film, and that is saying something when you think about how truly dire that one was.

The English Patient. 162 mins of pain the like of which I have never sat through since. I remember from the opening credits alone having a pretty good idea that I was going to struggle with it, and my younger brother says he can still remember me many times leaning back in despair in my cinema seat and huffing loudly to subtly show my extreme levels of pain. Believe me, I absolutely love watching films, and even if it is mainly via Sky or DVD these days because having kids obviously somewhat curtails going to the cinema. I can even sit through various rom-coms with my wife when I am feeling particularly nice, but for years I have been trying to get her to appreciate the mastery that is something like Evil Dead II. No luck on that front, but I reckon my taste in films is pretty varied (ok, I do like action films more than most genres, but then I am a bloke after all) - yet what category other than "please give me back those 162 mins of my life" could I possibly put the English Patient in to ? If this was an 18-rated blog then perhaps I could elaborate a bit more on that front..........

Now of course I have only sat through that miserable excuse for a film once in my life, and rest assured that it will never darken any screen of mine anytime in the future. I have spent many years in my own kind of self-medicating therapy to try and wipe the hideous levels of overacting from my memory, but still I can sadly recall for example Ralph Feinnes in that utterly ridiculous make-up waffling on about whatever garbage the script called for him to waffle on about. The only reason I actually sat through the whole pile of horse manure was because my folks had bought me my ticket and I think I was the one driving. I actually had to pull myself together and almost cloak myself in a protective blanket to get through those miserable 162 mins. I do actually think that Ralph Fiennes is one hell of an actor, indeed his role in Schindler's List is one that nobody with any soul could ever forget. I realise that it might be a little unfair to single him out in The English Patient, but you must understand how much I despise this film. It is not really fair to have a go at the director when he is no longer around, but I will still not touch the ice cream bearing his family name. That perhaps is an example of how much this film nearly broke me. But I am strong, and I fought back from those wasted hours in the cinema to come out the other side as a better human being. I am a better person because I suffered (not in silence I grant you) through the earnest pile of seal snot that is The English Patient. I seriously doubt whether it would be scientifically possible for a film quite as rubbish as this one to be made again, but I would welcome your thoughts on the matter.