there’s love, and then there’s love.

Posted on June 20, 2011


the painted veil is an extraordinary movie and an extraordinary love story. it isn’t your usual fluffy love story about two people who meet and are starstruck by each other and have a beautiful life together kissy kissy kissy. oh no – this is a story about how love grows over time, and it shows us that the way so many love stories are potrayed on screen are infact lust stories, or infatuation stories.
It is the story of a couple in a loveless marriage – and the transformation of it.
set in 1925, the painted veil is the story of a married couple. briefly, dr walter fane (norton) spots kitty (watts) at a party and is infatuated. he introduces himself but she is unimpressed. kitty leads an empty privileged life with overbearing parents who are constantly on at her not being married “at her age”. so when dr fane surprisingly proposes to her she knows that she does not love him, but she really has to get away from home. she agrees, and off they go to shanghai, china.
the infatuation doesn’t last however as he is a very serious hard working man devoted to his work, and through his lack of care, expression of love and boredom, kitty embarks on an affair. when walter discovers he decides to travel to a village at the height of a cholera epidemic to help with medical care – forcing kitty to go with him as a form of revenge. so here we have a couple who despise each other and who’s marriage is in ruins. jolly ho!
however because they are stuck together in this environment they gradually come to realise who this person they are married to is – the whole person. through perseverance with each other they develop a love that is full of respect and grace, whatever their flaws and foibles. this transformation makes for an engrossing and almost poetic experience for the viewer.
it is a beautiful story.
norton and watts gives wonderfully intense performances, but beyond them the movie holds some of the most breathtaking scenery i have ever seen in a movie.

love is not about how attractive you find somebody or how rich they are – it is about who they are inside. you can have a stunner of a partner to look at – but if he/she is foul mouthed, selfish or violent – those are hard qualities to love in anyone, right?  but if a person is caring, compassionate, funny… and loving.   that’s a different matter altogether.

“people judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.” 1 samuel ch16v7

1″children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it.” 1 john ch3v18

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