The Painted Veil (2006)

I've come to expect good things from all the actors involved in this film, so I didn't hesitate to see it, though I anticipated some depressing story of love lost.

The story is beautiful and rich and an interesting complement to Love in the Time of Cholera. We are drawn into China a few years before Mao's revolution as cholera outbreaks take over parts of the country. A scientist volunteers to help fight the outbreak at a British outpost. He drags his unloving wife with him threating to shame her if she doesn't come.

The scenery is breathtaking and we get a strong sense that this film was entirely shot on location (though I imagine a good portion of the indoor scenes were shot in sets) because of all the Chinese characters. It was odd to me that the three main characters playing Brits were American actors - I couldn't find fault with their accents, but I'm sure it didn't appeal to audiences in the UK.

The couple's relationship is the most interesting part of the film. We see how honesty, respect, and forgiveness play roles in their falling in love. The historical backdrop creates tension as riots and cholera daily threaten the protagonists.

Official Site | IMDB

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