Memoirs Of A Geisha
7 out of 10
A Cinderella Story
Adapted from a best selling book by William Goldman and brought to the screen by Rob Marshall, "Memoirs of Geisha" is historical drama that attempts to cross not genres but give a glimse into a world that few North Americans know of.
Memoirs of Geisha is set and in ancient Japan where geisha is as revered as a rock star. There is a big rift between the rich and poor. Sayuri lives with her father in little more than a hut and are sold into the geisha way of life by their father. The "den mother" of the geisha (Li Gong) not only recruits but acts as both promoter and trainer to a number of other young women who long to gain notoriety and fame as a geisha. As Sayuri gets to know her adopted "family" she realizes that he can only rely on herself to reunite with her sister whom she has barely a clue where to find. After being "rescued" from Hatsumomo by her arch rival Mameha. Here she is trained and rises through the ranks to become a famous geisha. They compete not only for clients but for the love of a man they both desire. Dirty tricks, lies and rumours run rampant in this duel and only one is victorious.
Making this popular book into a movie was not an easy task. Much of plot book told of the harsh realities of everyday life in the training of geisha and how it pertained to the class struggle and one woman's fight to go against it. The movie gives only a hint of it and instead pushes the rivalry aspects of the book. It is a beautifully shot with many of the choreographed scenes of geisha in action. The acting of Ziyi Zhang as Sayuri is quite good. She does her best to make the audience come around to her side and cheer for struggles against the society and the head geisha. Unfortunately, a lot of the other characters come off as stereotypes. They are pretty much one dimensional characters who serve as sounding boards against Li Gong. Marshall's direction is strong as well as the art direction in the film but this film comes off as ancient Japanese style Cinderella story instead of the more woven story from the book
Even though it ís a great looking film with pretty good acting Memoirs of Geisha falls kinda flat in the story area and falls into cliches.
Film Critic: Steven Scopa