A spoiled socialite is sent away to a village in China where the people are dying from cholera after she has an affair. I saw a preview for The Painted Veil while watching another movie recently. It seemed a thought-provoking and interesting plot line for a movie so I couldn’t wait to see it. I have no idea what you know or don’t know about this film, if you don’t want to be spoiled a little, click away.
Dr. Walter Fane meets a spoiled socialite whose mother is more than ready for her to get married and move out already! He is enamored with Kitty who wants to marry for love, not convenience. But finally she does marry him to get away from her mother. Meeting his friends, she falls for one of them who pays her lots of attention. Her husband finds out and decides that she will accompany him on a trip to a China village afflicted with cholera. He gives her little choice in going and takes the long way traveling so Kitty is overheated and exhausted by the time they arrive. Walter has never dealt with patients before as he is more of a scientist hunting down cures than a doctor who treats sick patients. During their stay, he investigates where the cholera might be coming from and tests the water as well as other things for contaminants. Kitty and her husband barely speak and she sits in the old small cottage day after day in the heat. Eventually she is asked to go to the orphanage and starts helping there. I found it unrealistic that neither of them had vaccinations unless the doctor planned on a murder/suicide while there with them both dying from cholera. Do either of them get cholera? It seems almost inevitable from the start that they will. Does the doctor find the contamination and stop the epidemic? Do they ever come together and forgive one another for their mistakes?
A translator translates the Chinese into English for the doctor and his wife most of the time. Songs are not translated that the children sing in Chinese. This is a very sad, troubling film that sits heavy on you after watching it. Yearning for the husband and wife to make up already and work together for the people in the village. I found it odd that the doctor cared more about the science than the people while the spoiled wife ended up feeling for the people in the village. This might have been a boring movie if not for Edward Norton who played the doctor and Naomi Watts who played his wife Kitty. They were magnificent and with few words showed a ton of emotion. Most of the action focuses on their relationship rather than the victims who had cholera. There are some major surprises that I didn’t foresee coming which enhanced the story. I enjoyed The Painted Veil and would recommend it highly.