Friday, July 26, 2013

The Painted Veil (2006)

Director: John Curran. Cast: Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Toby Jones, Liev Schreiber. 125min. Rated PG-13. China/USA/Canada. Drama/Romance.

Good British doctor takes her unfaithful bride to cholera-stricken 1920s China, with disastrous results. The story is based on a Somerset Maugham novel, so criticizing the plot is probably considered blasphemy: (Spoiler Alert!) The bride become pregnant from her adulterous affair, but when the doctor discovers this at the end, he dies from cholera. In other words, the story cheats its way out of the difficult third act it created. Great acting by Watts, and the cinematography is mesmerizing, but the two-hour long wait doesn't lead to a satisfying payoff.

PS: This is actually a remake of a 1934 version, starring Greta Garbo.

Mo says:


  1. I didn't get it was obviously pointed out that pregnancy is from affair. She said : "honesty : I don't know."...and Norton said : Does it matter now ? ...very beautiful!. I really liked the approach of the couple to the Affair.Very realistic and mature and easy to believe .Appealing ! I really loved when Watts bravely and honesty said : "everybody makes mistakes. I admit that I did mistake and I'm sorry".Very nice ! She straightforward and strongly said her true feeling and such strength and confidence along with pure honesty relieved her husband's hurtfulness and misery at last.There is limited movies that can highlight the meaning of "Forgiveness" incredibly . When she said "I love dancing, playing tennis,music but you never got that "a lovely concept brought up many couple we know that fail knowing each other and what they really are ....even after longtime of living under a common roof !so to me their marriage started just after they went to cholera and began to know each other . Beautiful movie!
    Am I clear myself enough or need more explanation ?;-))

    1. No, no need to explain more, because it's quite clear: Maryam loves romantic movies!


      I agree with most of your points. I just thought the idea of the husband asking for forgiveness on his deathbed was too contrived (what did he do wrong to ask forgiveness for?).

      And even though the lady says she doesn't know who the baby's father is ... still, that would create a huge obstacle in their future relationship. How can he love the child wholeheartedly, without even knowing whether he's the father or not? I think the man's death is the only possible solution to this unsolvable dilemma. I almost felt the storywriter got himself stuck in a situation he couldn't get out of, so he conveniently killed off the husband to fix the problem.

    2. Maybe!...I like your point of view even I know you are not romantic fan!
      "I almost felt the storywriter got himself stuck in a situation he couldn't get out of, so he conveniently killed off the husband to fix the problem."
      .very interesting & funny !!;-))