HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
    English - Hearing Impaired
  • 3 Theatrical trailer - English Patient, The Talented Mr Ripley & Chocolat
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Behind the scenes footage

The English Patient

Miramax/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 155 mins . M15+ . PAL


It's hard to begin writing about a movie like the English Patient AND to do it justice at the same time. With it's complex narrative, multilayered plot and shuffled time-line of events, the English Patient requires your utmost attention and even further viewings to truly appreciate the detail inherit in the story.

We begin our epic journey with Count Almasy (Ralph Fiennes) who's bi-plane has just been shot down by a Nazi anti-aircraft battery that causes the plane to explode and engulf him in flames, leaving him at deaths door helpless in the desert, burned beyond recognition. His soon finds himself in Italy, nursed by Hanna (Juliette Binoche, Chocolat), a Canadian who has lived through the horrors of war herself.

It is here where the real story begins as various people come across the path of the English Patient, telling of their own stories, while the patient himself tries to remember his own life before the accident. We cut back and forth to these events as part of the narrative and soon learn of a love affair that has repurcussions that eventually lead to the opening scene once again.

Loosely based on Michael Ondaajte's book, Anthony Minghella's English Patient is a masterpiece of modern cinema with it's epic size and expanse and scenes resembling those from Lawrence of Arabia. The love story at it's heart is both emotionally powerful and heart wrenching at the same time and the movie is certainly worthy of it's myriad of Academy Awards.


You could me forgiven for thinking you were watching Lawrence of Arabia given the many epic shots of deserts throughout the movie. It's epic nature thrives on the brilliant cinematography by John Seale which compliments the complex story. This DVD does the movie further justice by providing yet another great transfer from team at Village Roadshow. Whilst not being perfect, it certainly is a great way to enjoy the English Patient. The desert expanses and sandstorms provide a challenge for the compressionists when trying to fit this 155 minute epic onto a dual layered DVD. There is only so much you can fit on this DVD and the variable bit-rate afforded on the DVD format is used to perfection here so that the movie looks as good as it is ever going to look.

One quibble is a slight oversaturation of reds which is mostly noticeable in the desert shots. I have a feeling that this is somewhat intentional on the part of the cinematographer as it doesn't detract from the overall enjoyment of the film.


Sometimes it's not so obvious but other times it is. A 448Kb/s Dolby Digital soundtrack does provide for a greater frequency range and this soundtrack demonstrates how to do it perfectly. Forget Jurassic Park or the Matrix, this soundtrack is sublime and thoroughly deserving of its Best Sound and Best Original Score Oscars.

Every intricate sound detail is produced to perfection, from the simplest of footsteps to the crashing of bi-planes. One of the more dramatic scenes in the movie involves the disarming of a bomb; any sudden movement could trigger it so when tanks carrying US troops celebrating the end of the War, the deep rumble resonating in the ground can be felt from miles around both within the movie and within your viewing room. Throw in the sand storm and the bi-plane crash and you're in for an entertaining speaker ballet.

The score provided by Gabriel Yared is a masterpiece of passion, excitement and action with a real emotional pull that lifts the movie to even greater heights.


Village Roadshow have made an effort here to provide atleast some sort of extras given the US region 1 release is lacking anything. Whilst this isn't a special collectors edition of any sort, the extras here are a nice inclusion.

First up in its simplest form are some nicely themed animated menus and the Egypt Dolby Digital trailer, the most suitable trailer for such a movie. From here we have 3 trailers, one for the English Patient, The Talented Mr Ripley and Chocolat with the latter being a pretty ordinary full frame transfer.

Of note and related to the movie itself is a 7 minute featurette that includes interviews and behind the scenes footge. There is not much in terms of real content but certainly more than our region 1 cousins have received.


Finally making it's way to DVD in region 4, this effort from Village Roadshow is a must have for fans of the movie. With an excellent story and a soundtrack that is superb, there is fun to be had for movie and DVD buffs alike.

Highly Recommended.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=560
  • Send to a friend.

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
      And I quote...
    "this effort from Village Roadshow is a must have for fans of the movie..."
    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DAV-S300
    • TV:
          Hitachi CMT2979 68cm
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
    by Steve Koukoulas

    Star Wars: Clone Wars - Volume 1
    "... created for the Cartoon Network, made their way onto starwars.com in small quicktime versions and are now available on DVD."

    The Fifth Element - Collectors Edition
    "a truly special edition"

    Duel - Special Edition
    "Duel is easily the best bang-for-your-buck suspense car-chase, truck hounded thriller ever ... a must have for Spielberg and suspense fans."

    Dodgeball - Uncut
    "Sometimes the simplest of ideas for a movie pay off the best."

    Ultimate Matrix Collection (10 Disc Box Set)
    "If no-one can be told what the Matrix is, this Ultimate collection edition is the closest you're going to get to finding out."

      Related Links
      None listed


    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5