THE LINE: Set in a mysterious and exotic world which still casts a potent spell today, the story begins in the years before World War II, when a Japanese child is torn from her penniless family to work as a servant in a geisha house. Despite a treacherous rival who nearly breaks her spirit, the girl blossoms into the legendary geisha Sayuri. Beautiful and accomplished, Sayuri captivates the most powerful men of her day, but is haunted by her secret love for the one man beyond her reach.
THE GOOD: Memoirs of a Geisha is visually stunning. The leading women Chiro/Sayuri (played first by Suzuka Ohgo, and later by Ziyi Zhang), Hatsumomo (Gong Li) and Mameha (Michelle Yeoh) are so graceful and beautiful, I felt like such a clumsy, stocky American watching the movie!
THE BAD: The love between Sayuri and The Chairman (Ken Watanabi) didn’t take my breath away like it did in the book; I was only slightly convinced he loved her as much as she loved him (and actually a little creeped out that he supposedly harbored a love for her since she was 9.)
In addition, I didn’t understand thirty-percent of the conversations between Sayuri and Hatsumomo, which makes me bring up another point, why were they speaking English in the first place? Rob Marchall, the Director, starts it off with subtitles, but as soon as they leave their fishing village, they miraculously speak English?
FRANKLY: I would see it on the big screen, if not for the story, definitely for the visual beauty.
+ Meghan Berger