This love story has Kitty (Naomi Watts) meeting young, intelligent, shy and somewhat dull Dr. Walter Fane (Edward Norton), whose forte is the study of infectious diseases, and the convenient marriage to which she finds herself committed. It is in this web of intrigue that they head for China, only after Walter discovers Kitty's infidelity with the dashing and witty diplomat Charlie Townsend (Liev Schreiber). So much as to hide her from herself and to help thwart a cholera outbreak, this is a marriage more than on the rocks. This is a cold, indifferent, and loveless partnership in a vast unknown and deadly environment that will test both of these flightless lovebirds and with the hardships and tolerances more than any had ever anticipated. A visual delight amidst the pain and suffering of dying people and failing marriage. Will a cure be found for both, before it's too late?Written by
Edward Norton and Naomi Watts were both also producers of the film. See more »
In the scene where Kitty and Walter enter their house in the village where they go because of the Cholera epidemic, the first time they enter there is a floor lamp in the living room with a green glass shade. After that first scene, the lamp disappears and is never seen again. See more »
Le Furet Du Bois Joli
Composed by Pierre De Berville
Arranged by Evan H. Chen (as Evan Chen)
Performed by The Choir of the Beijing Takahashi Culture and Art Centre See more »
Love in the times of cholera....
The Painted Veil is my favorite Somerset Maugham novel so I was concerned about how much justice could be done to this hauntingly beautiful story of revenge, love and redemption. Is it possible to take a masterpiece and make a decent film out of it in Hollywood? Apparently yes! Could the movie have been better - absolutely, but does it get the job done well? I'd say yes.
Ed Norton is Walter - a bacteriologist stationed in Shangai. In Londn he mets and falls in love with the beautiful Kitty (Naomi Watts), hasty marriage and honeymoon in Venice later they are both in China. He is busy - she is bored. And what better way to relieve boredom than an extramarital affair with Charlie - the philandering consular official (Liev Schrieber)? But Walter discovers the affair and decides to volunteer to a cholera stricken province and take Kitty with him. Charlie was never serious anyway so off they go into the jaws of death. In the cholera infested back of beyond Walter and Kitty discover more about each other than they did in many months of marriage. A mutual respect grows into something else but it is a cholera infested region after all. So the tale must have a tragic ending and it does. But it leaves one with a sense of relief as the camera finally moves away from the oppressive dark tones and into light.
The movie has beautiful performances by Ed Norton and Ms. Watts. His serious, then almost sinister, then enlighetened Walter is the perfect foil to her luminous, wicked and then vulnerable Kitty. Liev Schrieber is good in the brief role as Charlie and all the supporting cast is very good indeed. The locale is stunning and the mood is brilliantly captured in the dark, the shadows and moments of light.
Are there Hollywood moments? Of course there are, mostly during the growing attraction between the lead pair there are the clichéd moments of "intoxication", his looking suddenly more attractive and youthful, her moments with the orphanage kids. But none of it is over the top. The movie is full of mood, sensuous beauty and emotion. I enjoyed the film and I think Mr. Maugham is there somewhere nodding his head in approval at a job well done.
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