Some of you might know my love for Japan and the geishas. For that reason I have read a few books about them and Memoirs of A Geisha had taken my breath away... The descriptions are very vivid and the story is just a pure page-turner.
The movie justifies the book in a beautiful way. It focuses mainly on the drama and less at the rituals and traditions. After reading the book eight years ago, I couldn't wait for the movie.
I was waiting to see the beautifully described ceremonies, rituals and the lavish kimono fittings.
The preparation of Chio to become the Geisha Sayuri is pictured in a quick and powerful juxtaposition, with dynamic music and strong colours, but for me it was too quick. Because it takes a large part of the book I was expecting more. More ceremonies, more wigs, more kimonos, more tea rituals.
That doesn't mean that the movie is poor of lovely pictures. As you can see from the photos I selected, the photography is just magical. Like out of a Japanese painting. On the left is a photo from Sayuri's inaugural performance. The actual scene in the movie is very powerful and Ziyi Zhang is gorgeous and moves like she is made out of elastic.
The scene with Sayuri and the Chairman above was the most romantic of the movie.
But the most important thing of the movie is the casting. Ziyi Zhang is Sayuri-full stop. "Baddie" Geisha Hatsumomo is played by the incredible Gong Li. Mameha is gloriously portrayed by the ex-Bond girl Michelle Yeoh. The Chairman is played by a handsome and very attractive Ken Watanabe. But most of all the performances, the one that takes your breath away is the one by the 12 year old Suzuka Ohdo. She makes a difficult and dark half of the film to flow quickly and easily.
All in all a beautiful film, but not as good as the book. I would suggest you go watch it though, for the reasons I mentioned above. If you haven't read the book, you'll love it. I would definitely recommend the book.
I am going to read it again and wait for the DVD with hopefully lots of extra features!!!
As I'm writing this I'm also watching the first episode of Desperate Housewives-Series 2. I am so happy it started again.
The new episode is already awesome, so many things happening... W-O-W!
Also, I have finally updated the Quiiiiit blog. Every time I do, I will have the following icon pasted on this blog, so you'll know when to visit. So, come on, what are you waiting for? Hit it!