The Painted Veil

W. Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge is among my favourite movies (with Tyrone Power not the Bill Murray version) and books. When I saw that the library had a DVD of The Painted Veil, another of Maugham’s stories, I reserved it at once. It was strictly bonus that the acting of Edward Norton and Naomi Watts was so excellent. The story juxtaposes a great deal. First there’s a woman who marries a bacteriologist to escape her family and the man who loves without really bothering to learn about who the object of his affections really is. And then these two are first immersed in the alien culture of 1920’s Shanghai and then in a cholera epidemic in the country side. There is a fascinating collision between west and east.
Recommended highly. I would be very interested in seeing the 1934 film too.


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