Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Memoirs of a Geisha (2006)

We missed the beginning, thankfully not too much. Directed by Rob Marshall, the movie is based on the book, "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden. Apart from Golden, the "writing credits is also shared by Robin Swicord who wrote the screenplay for the movie.

The talented cast includes Michelle Yeoh (Mameha), Ziyi Zhang (Sayuri), Ken Watanabe (Chairman), the young and beautiful Suzuka Ohgo (Little Chiyo), Li Gong (Hatsumomo) and others.

Genre: Drama\Romance

Run-time: 145 minutes

Language: English

Sound mix: DTS/Digital Dolby

Plot: Narrated in first person, Nitta Sayuri unfolds the events of her life that eventually pushes her to become the most famous geisha of her times. Sayuri and her sister are sold by their impoverished father to the Geisha houses and get separated. Sayuri has blue watery eyes that gives her an enchanted look. She is noticed wherever she goes by virtue of her uniquely coloured eyes. In the house she faces the jealous and stunningly beauitful Hatusmomo, who is the reigning queen among the Geishas. Sayuri is forced to work as a help and then later is sent to the Geisha school. Her attempts to escape from the house remain unsuccessful and she resigns to her fate. On that fateful day when Sayuri is standing on the bridge, she meets the Chairman who notices her while walking along with a couple of geishas. The brief encounter with the Chairman changes her destiny. Determined to see him again and profess her love, she decides to become a Geisha. The beautiful Mamahe, takes Sayuri under her wing and acts as her protector and mentor. Inspite of the wicked plots thrown by Hatsumomo, Sayuri proves her mettle and becomes the most famous geisha of all times. But her heart still yearns for the Chairman and Sayuri does everything that can possibly be done to get her closer to her goal.

Those who have read the book may have felt let down by the movie. But for others who have not yet read the book, the movie might have proved quite enjoyable. The cinematography was simply brilliant. We did not sense that we were in India, but infact in the small world of Sayuri’s Japan and her world of geishas.

The cast of characters did complete justice to their respective roles. Of special mention is the young girl who plays young Chiyo; Suzuko Ohga, beautiful and talented, she is sure to go places. Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang, are thorough professionals and they come through with good performances. What I particularly liked was the theme of the flowing water, cleverly woven into the main story. However, I think that the movie would have better recieved by the majority of the movie-goers, if the actors were allowed to speak in their native tongue with sub-titles provided in english. The broken-english accent could get on your nerves after sometime. Nevertheless, the movie leaves you with a strange ethereal feeling.

Memoirs of a Geisha speaks of a strange kind of love that you can only feel, but can never have.

1 comment:

Rohit Talwar said...

I've got to see this movie now! Still haven't :(