I recently watched this movie again, after many years since my first viewing. I found it even more powerful. In its unstated way it draws powerful parallels between the ownership of women's bodies and colonialism, together with its message of seeing beyond nationalities. From its strong cast to its haunting music, it captures loss in all its heartbreak and stays with you a long time.
Anthony Minghella delivered a stunning epic that was on a par with David Lean's greatest works. This is an epic that will break your heart and Ralph Fiennes and Kristen Scott Thomas are electric together. Juliette Binoche is also one of the most beautiful and talented actresses to ever grace the screen.
"The book was better" just doesn't cut it here. It'll probably never be successfully translated to the screen; at least not by Hollywood. Ondaatje's passionate, achingly beautiful prose drew attention to subtleties in people and the world -- this film is overblown, loud and melodramatic.