The English Patient

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This morning I woke up thinking of her. Although I will think of her at least once during my day, be it by being reminded of her scent by a quick passerby or something she said by something I see, this memory was much more immediate. As the hours progressed I realized it was because I had dreamed of her the night before. The realization made me miserable. There I was, thousands of miles away, months removed from her kisses and completely unaware of the state of her life, and yet in my dreams she was as vivid as the cool breeze that swept the university campus at 11:30am. I sat down and cried for a while.

There are similar moments peppered throughout The English Patient. Count Laszlo de Almasy (Ralph Fiennes) lays in bed, burnt to a crisp, and gazes at nothing as he recalls fond memories of the woman he loves. And I thought to myself, “what that poor man must be feeling! what utter sadness his heart is drowned in!”

B+

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6 Years

6-Years-PosterI find it infuriating how a couple can spend 2,191 days together in a relationship, and then decide they want to break up.

Forget about the time and effort you invested in the other person; never mind all the sacrifices made for the sake of love during their tenure.
No, what bothers me is that you gave your heart to the other person, and after a thousand adventures together they simply give it back, as if there’s an unsigned lifetime warranty on romance.

Of course, as 6 Years demonstrates, there’s an array of reasons why such a previously strong relationship can begin to crumble. After all, you can plan for everything except for life.
Is it worth it then, to invest in love?

“Don’t you get bored?”, Mel’s (Taissa Farmiga) friends ask her at one point. “Don’t you want somebody else?”
And while that mentality is valid, in the way that one will avoid various disappointments by saying no to commitment, it also demonstrates a very clear flaw.
If my only excuse to not engage in a serious relationship is because I will one day want someone else, does that not mean that I will a) have to settle with somebody eventually, as I cannot go around like a bee all my life; or b) end up alone?

What this tells me is that love is definitely not for the cowards. It takes guts to hand your heart over to somebody, knowing there is an implicit agreement that they now have full and complete power over it.
Love is also not for the stupid.

It is here where what C.S. Lewis once said comes into play.
“Feelings, feelings, feelings. Let me try thinking instead.”

The couple in 6 Years has many of the former, yet does few of the latter.
Even though the last thing I wanted them to do was to throw away their relationship, I knew a compromise had to be made.
Compromises are almost always difficult, yet not impossible to achieve. I believe that if you heed Lewis’s words, you might still have success.

It is possible to have a long distance relationship from Texas to New York. It would be near inhumanely hard, but I do think that if both parties involved truly want to make it work, it is possible. But that would require thinking with a cool head.
And our characters do not excel at that.

So we end up with shattered hearts, burning tears and 2,191 days that they will want to forever erase from their memory.
They’ll fail.

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