Monday, July 18, 2011

The Painted Veil

The Painted Veil 
Written by W. Somerset Maugham in 1925.
Rating: ★★★★ Couldn't put it down!

What it's about: 

When Kitty is caught having an affair, her husband, Walter, gives her an ultimatum: 
unless her lover will agree to marry her, she must accompany him on business to Mei-tan-fu, a cholera stricken village in China.  Kitty is forced to face a heartbreaking reality when Charlie, her lover, will not divorce his wife, and she is bound to move where people are dropping like flies.  However, it is in Mei-tan-fu, surrounded by death, where strength is birthed in Kitty, and she is led on a soul-changing journey.

Why we love it: 
We love a good love triangle!  W. Somerset Maugham is clever and writes beautifully.  He has incredible insight on human character and desire. We love the characters that he creates, even if we are frustrated with their decisions at times.

We love the East meets West theme throughout the book, as well as the the 1920's era the story is set in. Maugham demonstrates talent in his juxtaposition of Britain and China.  

The Painted Veil (2006) PG-13
Directed by John Curran
Starring: Naomi Watts & Edward Norton
Rating: ★★★★ Loved it!

Differences between the movie and book:  

This movie followed the book fairly closely, except for a few variations added for drama, including the uprising of nationalists and a greater look into the work Walter performs as a bacteriologist.  The principal variation is the ending relationship between Kitty and Walter. 

Why we loved it:  

First of all, Edward Norton and Naomi Watts, are two extremely talented (and good looking!) actors, so what's not to love?  Second, John Curran did an amazing job directing this film.  The movie added its own variation yet kept the heart of the book.  It was as if all we had imagined from Maugham's work came to life.  

While we're not always fans of movies changing the endings of good books, we must admit we loved the ending of this movie. 

Overall we suggest you read the book and watch the movie, but not necessarily in that order. 

Up Next . . . The Kite Runner

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome, Jessica! I love the movie- now I will have to check out the book!!!