Monday, September 24, 2007

Whatever Happened to The English Patient ?

After spending more than three years struggling, reading and re-reading the so-called sophisticated level of English using in the award-winning critically-acclaimed The English Patient novel written by Michael Ondaatje given by my friend Astrid Reza Widjaja who brought it straight from Melbourne, which I started reading on Easter of 2002, I proudly claimed that I finally finished with it on May 2005 (since many people found it as a tough-read).

There was still one thing that really confused me after finished reading the final chapter.
I know that Kirpal Singh a.k.a Kip the sapper went back to India after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and then married with two children, while Hana the nurse went back to Toronto after the war and live sadly by herself, nothing mentioned on the fate of Caravaggio the thief-cum-spy; but what bothered me much was that there wasn't any explanation available about the nameless-burned English-accented man (which was why he was known to others as the English Patient), even though the main character in that novel is supposed to be him.

The movie, which adapted from the novel by the gifted director/scriptwriter Anthony Minghella, showed us that Hana killed Almasy by overdosing him with morphine, which was actually requested by him (i.e. euthanasia). But there was nothing about (or similar to) it mentioned in the novel.

Was Mr. Minghella took the liberty from Mr. Ondaatje to explain some things that were not explained in his book?

All I know is that Mr. Ondaatje didn’t mind with that other ending version since I once searched all over the web to find any objection of Mr. Minghella’s twisted plot, and found none.

Maybe Hana, Kip and Caravaggio abandoned the paralysed Almasy by himself lying on his death-bed inside Vila San Girolamo ...

Maybe the Allied troops had taken over the English patient into their custody, and there he was in The Hague, waiting for his trial as a war-criminal ...

Or maybe, just like the suggested movie-plot, Hana did help Almasy committed euthanasia ...

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