Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Painted Veil, Atonement

Back when I was twelve, Maugham’s The Painted Veil seemed to me to be the most romantic thing ever. Or the most romantic thing I had ever read. Same thing. Yes, I had already read Wuthering Heights, so clearly my top choice was somewhat cynical.

But I guess that even at that age and even in a family such as mine, the specter of “choosing” a marriage partner “guided” by family pressures was a possible destiny. And so, the romance of two strangers voyaging inwards, discovering themselves, and truly loving appealed to me for its positivist prospects.

I saw the movie last night. By myself. Which isn’t strange at all; the strange part is that I go to the movies by myself all the time but can’t watch them at home by myself--I fall asleep or get bored. Same thing, I guess.

But I watched this by myself at home. And yes, some of the intensity was bodice-ripping (she lets her wrap slide off her shoulders, he takes two purposeful steps to reach her side, they kiss like the antidote is hidden at the back of their throats and only their tongues can scope and reach it. Gross.). Yup, like I said, highly satisfactory. Although the older, wiser me did think that most of their squabbles were like PSAs on how not to communicate with your partner. But I stayed awake till the end. (May be because Edward Norton was in it. And someone told me that they once played pool with him.) (Look, I never claimed this post was going to make sense.)

Emboldened by my initial success, I thought I’d watch Atonement tonight. Why two movies in as many days? Because I have an article due on Friday is why. So anyway, I ordered Atonement because it was another book I greatly loved. And I fell asleep.



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2 comments:

ZenDenizen said...

LOL I slept thru most of Atonement too despite James MacAvoy's dreamy presence.

maya said...

I know, right?! I can't even begin to wrap my head around why it was SO boring. (And Keira K was lovely too.)