Based on the novel by the same title, The Painted Veil tells the story of Kitty Garstin - a vivacious, shallow socialite - who married Doctor Walter Fane, mostly to upset her mother.
Walter is a respected bacteriologist who studies infections diseases in Shanghai, and he was just on leave in London when he met Kitty and fell in love with her without really knowing her.
They have a brief courtship and get married. After a honeymoon in Venice, they return to Shanghai, where Walter is always busy and Kitty meets Charlie Townsend, a minor diplomat, and they start an affair.
After said affair is discovered by Walter, he strikes a bargain with Kitty: He'll divorce her quietly if Charlie divorces his wife and marries her. When Charlie fails to do this, Walter then takes Kitty to inland China, where a cholera epidemic is raging.
In the middle of nowhere, with few people for company, Walter and Kitty start to finally get to know each other; and they fall in love despite their rocky start...
The Painted Veil is one of the few truly tragic movies I ever watch. What happens between Kitty and Walter is sad, and bitter for a large part of their time together, until they finally give each other a second chance. I love second chance stories and that's pretty much what makes this movie a favorite of mine.
Plus, as I said, there is a tragedy in this tale that always gets to me. And I gladly cry each time because this is not a story that deliberately toys with your emotions, throwing sad things at you to get a reaction. The Painted Veil just tells the story, and it is what it is and so much more heartbreaking because of it.
Also, the movie has a terrific, terrific photography, I swear, some of the most beautiful I've ever seen.
Anyway, I love this movie and I highly recommend it if you're in the mood for a good cry.
I give it an A, and it's a Personal Favorite