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Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)


Elevator Pitch

A young girl and her slighty elder sister are sold by their father to a dealer who manages to pass the younger one to a geisha house, the elder disappears into a world of prostitution. As time passes the girl is taken into tutelege by Mameha, an experienced geisha and as she blossoms she becomes the subject of hostility from the primary geisha and gains the attentions of the influencial patrons of the house. She is in love but there are pitfalls ahead.


Much of the content of this movie is decoratively presented, the geisha house the area and the Japanese environment before WWII. The geishas are beautiful, the patrons are variously unpleasant, except for “the chairman”, and those in charge of the houses are grasping. It seems that the  Japanese military took many of the women from the pleasure district during the war, but Sayuri is saved and sent to the country. There is some non-revelatory sex, mostly screened as being unpleasant.

A View This film won awards for costumes and photography but it was too long, and if anything the story was weak, brushing over some essential aspects. Even though Sayuri’s virginity was auctioned, the very fact that geishas, as well as being skilled in a variety of entertainments, were also involved in the sale of sex, was almost peripheral. Probably now, in 2018, a watch for nothing.
Duration 2h 25m Rating (UK) 12A
Source of story A book of the same name, written by Arthur Golden, published in 1997.
Director Rob Marshall
Writers/Script Robin Swicord
Starring Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Li Gong, Kenneth Tsang, Ted Levine
Additional Info The film has been criticised for the use of actresses of Chinese origin, but as someone pointed out, they are big box office in the Far East.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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