Tuesday, 1 April 2008

The Painted Veil

This story is based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham. It is set back in 1925. A young London couple; the lady is selfish and spoilt. Her husband is a Doctor and bacteriologist who is based in China. Dr. Walter Fane (Edward Norton) works in the government lab in Shanghai then. His wife, Kitty Fane (Naomi Watts) does not love him and only married him to get far away from her mother. In China, Kitty had an affair with a very important man who is married, but he is only playing with her. There is an outbreak of Cholera in a rural part of China. The doctor volunteered to head the group and he told his wife that she has 2 choices. Either she join him there, or he wants a divorce on the grounds of adultery and naming the guy in public. She chose to go with him.

Throughout this movie, i was so disturbed. The movie shows how people die of cholera. Cholera is highly contagious and death is caused by dehydration. How to dehydrate? Vomiting non stop water until all your fluid is gone. These patients have to lie on special beds, with a hole on their bottom, because they will have diarhoea nonstop too until all fluid is gone from the body. Then they die eventually. Usually within 3 days. I watched the hospital, the deaths. Because they were in rural china back in 1925 and foreigners were not welcomed in China, they had an unusually hard time there. Eventually, the doctor caught cholera himself. By then, his wife was pregnant already and they both had already made up with each other. He died in the end. She went back to London and gave birth to a son.

This movie shows how a couple with a broken relationship learns some valuable lessons in life, love and sacrifice in this romantic novel.

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