[critical] The Veil of Illusions

London, 1920. After a marriage too quickly accepted for social conventions, Kitty travels with her husband, Walter, physician, bacteriologist, live in Shanghai, where he must conduct research. Quickly, the young woman falls in love with another man.

When Walter discovers of the adultery of which he is victim, he promises Kitty to give her a divorce which would not reveal his infidelity and him will conserve a spotless reputation, if her lover leaves his wife to marry her. Walter knows that this man puts his career before his many feminine conquests…

Abandoned by her lover, broken, Kitty accompanies her husband in a region where a cholera epidemic sweeps the population, and where local wars are raging…

Author’s Note


Release Date : March 07, 2007

Directed by John Curran

Film american, chinese,

With Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev View Schreiber

Duration : 2h04min

Original title : The Painted Veil

Trailer :

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We spoke recently of The Illusionist with Edward Norton (recently seen in The Incredible Hulk). Here comes the actor in a film which blends happily drama and romance, The Veil of Illusions (oh well, there is still the question of illusion).

London, 1920. Lulled by illusions, as well, doctor, bacteriologist, that she, Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive, The ring, King Kong, The Promises of the Shadow), puny and fragile. They are getting married. He thought that she loved him, she thought she was going to love it. Then comes the coup de grace for the doctor, adultery occurs almost inevitably with the talented liev view Schreiber (Scream, A Crime In the Head, and soon in X-Men Origins : Wolverine).

Walter is “the” parade, the punishment : a trip to Shanghai region, where proliferates a disease more deadly than ever : the cholera.

We can talk about result sets and costumes, as well successful and beautiful the one than the other. Natural scenery and also, where one navigates in a China of old, in China she also dreamed of novelty and of grandeur.

What is significant also – and maybe some of you don’t care – it is the lining voice of Norton, which remains the same. When you are used to a voice, it’s hard to get rid of it.

The actors are their accounts of dialogues, neither too much nor not enough. However, we can note a certain nonchalance in some of the scenes, a length that could have been avoided given more than the duration of the film, which is a little over 2 hours.

After Out Of Africa and The English Patient, 2 other films that take place outside of their country of origin and dealing with a love story, we can boast that The Veil of the Illusions works as well as its predecessors.

The central character of the film is without a doubt Kitty. Offered virtually to Walter by his parents, they – and especially his mother – becomes the least of her worries. She then saw, both good and bad, a beginning of existence with the one she didn’t like. The one that she is without a soul, and devoid of gaiety and joy of living.

The little escapade with Charlie Townsend does not show that his desire for change in his life. A passing, a shameless flirt, at the most.

Life in China was difficult at the time. It adds an epidemic such as cholera and one obtains a mixture of muddy, between poor hygiene and the beginning of an announced death.

A hint of optimism in this orphanage in the middle of nowhere, and managed by sisters. 1 billion 300 million Chinese for only 12 million catholics in China in 2007.

John Curran, director of the film, it was made known first through the series The L World, by producing an episode. And then We Don t Live Here Anymore has followed, with Naomi Watts in the cast. It was already a matter of infidelity, repeated. It continues its momentum with The Veil of Illusions , adding a touch of humanism and emotion.

Level soundtrack, it is a French that it is necessary to thank, Alexandre Desplat, who has received a Golden Globe in 2007.

Finally, Edward Norton and Naomi Watts, not content to be included already at the top of the poster, are also producers of the film.

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