I've watched this movie with friends in its year of production, which means I was fifteen! My friends hated the movie and back then I was still the kind of girl who would be too embarrassed to stand out in such crowd and say "I love this movie".
I love this movie - I love the cinematography, Gabriel Yared's music, the plot and how it develops and how it leaves you at the end of the movie, and most of all the performance of Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Juliette Binoche, and Willem Dafoe.
I could go on and on about this movie, and perhaps I'd do in the comments area, but for now, I will leave you with quotes.
P.S. If you have not watched this movie, please disregard this post because it has a spoiler or two. OH, and go watch this movie for God's sake!
Hana: [crying, her face a frozen mask] I must be a curse. Anybody who loves me, anybody who gets close to me... or I must be cursed. Which is it?
Katharine Clifton: Will we be alright?
Almásy: Yes. Yes, absolutely.
Katharine Clifton: "Yes" is a comfort. "Absolutely" is not.
Katharine Clifton: [dancing] Why did you follow me yesterday?
Almásy: Excuse me?
Katharine Clifton: After the market, you followed me to the hotel.
Almásy: I was concerned. As I said, women in that part of Cairo, a European women, I felt obliged to.
Katharine Clifton: [beat] You felt obliged to.
Almásy: As the wife of one of our party.
Katharine Clifton: [sardonically] So why follow me? Escort me, by all means. Following me is predatory, isn't it?
Almásy: I once traveled with a guide who was taking me to Faya. He didn't speak for nine hours. At the end of it he pointed to the horizon and said, "Faya!" That was a good day.---
Katharine Clifton: I'm impressed you can sew.
Katharine Clifton: You sew very badly.
Almásy: Well, you don't sew at all.
Katharine Clifton: A woman should never learn to sew, and if she can she shouldn't admit to it.
Almásy: When were you most happy?
Katharine Clifton: Now.
Almásy: When were you least happy?
Katharine Clifton: Now.
Almásy: What do you love?
Katharine Clifton: What do I love?
Almásy: Say everything.
Katharine Clifton: Water, with fish in it. Hedgehogs, I love hedgehogs. Marmite. Baths, but not with other people! Islands. I could go on all day.
Almásy: Go on all day.
Katharine Clifton: Your handwriting.
Almásy: And what else?
Katharine Clifton: A husband.
Almásy: What do you hate most?
Katharine Clifton: A lie. What do you hate most?
Almásy: Ownership. Being owned. What you leave here you should forget me.
Katharine Clifton: This - what is this?
Almásy: It's a folk song.
Katharine Clifton: Arabic.
Almásy: No, no. It's Hungarian. My daijka sang it to me when I was a child growing up in Budapest.
Katharine Clifton: It's beautiful. What's it about?
Almásy: Szerelam means love. And the story, well, there's this Hungarian count. He's a wanderer. He's a fool. And for years he's on some kind of a quest for... who knows what. And then one day, he falls under the spell of a mysterious English woman. A harpy, who beats him, and hits him, he becomes her slave, and he sews her clothes, and worships... [Katharine starts hitting him]
Almásy: Stop it! Stop it! You're always beating me!
Katharine Clifton: Bastard! You bastard, I believed you! You should be my slave.
Hana: There's a man downstairs. He brought us eggs. He might stay.
Almásy: Why? Can he lay eggs?
Hana: He's Canadian.
Almásy: Why are people so happy when they collide with someone from the same place? What happened in Montreal when you passed a man in the street? Did you invite him to live with you?
Hana: I'm not in love with him. I'm in love with ghosts... And so is he, he's in love with ghosts
Almásy: Betrayals in war are childlike compared with our betrayals during peace. New lovers are nervous and tender, but smash everything. For the heart is an organ of fire.
Almásy: I just wanted you to know: I'm not missing you yet.
Katharine Clifton: You will.
Katharine Clifton: Do you think you are the only one who feels anything?
Katharine Clifton: Why did you hate me?
Katharine Clifton: Don't you know you drove everybody mad?
Almásy: Don't talk
Katharine Clifton: You speak so many bloody languages, and you never want to talk.
Almásy (They stagger on. He suddenly notices a stain of gold at her neck. It's saffron, leaking from a silver THIMBLE which hangs from a black ribbon): (overwhelmed) You're wearing the thimble.
Katharine Clifton: Of course, you idiot. I always wear it; I've always worn it; I've always loved you.
Katharine Clifton: Do you promise? I wouldn't want to die here. I wouldn't want to die in the desert. I've always had a rather elaborate funeral in mind, with particular hymns. Very English. And I know exactly where I want to be buried. In our garden. Where I grew up. With a view of the sea. So promise me you'll come back for me.
Almásy: I promise, I'll come back for you. I promise, I'll never leave you.
Almásy: Every night I cut out my heart. But in the morning it was full again.
Almásy: So yes. She died because of me. Because I loved her. Because I had the wrong name.
Katharine Clifton: My darling. I'm waiting for you. How long is the day in the dark? Or a week? The fire is gone, and I'm horribly cold. I really should drag myself outside but then there'd be the sun. I'm afraid I waste the light on the paintings, not writing these words. We die. We die rich with lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we've entered and swum up like rivers. Fears we've hidden in - like this wretched cave. I want all this marked on my body. Where the real countries are. Not boundaries drawn on mapswith the names of powerful men. I know you'll come carry me out to the Palace of Winds. That's what I've wanted: to walk in such a place with you. With friends, on an earth without maps. The lamp has gone out and I'm writing in the darkness.