Review: Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances.
She sings. She entertains you, whatever you want.
The rest is shadows. The rest is secret.

Supposedly Geishas are not prostitutes, but how do you call selling your virginity for 15,000 Yen? I’d say it’s prostitution in one of its purest forms. But, apparently, there is a difference between the two. It’s subtle, sometimes blurred, but it would be a grave insult to call Geisha a prostitute. Are they or are they not? That is the question you have to answer for yourself. Maybe watching this movie will help. Maybe.

Geisha are not courtesans, and we’re not wives.
We sell our skills, not our bodies. We create another
secret world, a place only of beauty. The very word
Geisha means artist, and to be a Geisha is
to be judged as a moving work of art.

Sad truth is, American movies about Japan are much better than the Japanese ones. Such was the case with The Last Samurai, and so it is with Memoirs of a Geisha. Hollywood has mastered to perfection the art of entertainment. This one is a perfect example to support this thesis. Easy to follow story with lots of twist and turns, stunning visuals, memorable music, sweet ending and the most fitted cast you could imagine. Divinely gorgeous Zhang Ziyi, devilishly beautiful Gong Li and deadly handsome Ken Watanabe. What more could one ask for? It’s not me complaining that the movie is sometimes far off from the historical truth (The Last Samurai, once again). I mean, it’s entertainment. The sole meaning of this word is to have a good time and I, personally, had a really great time.

The only flaw I could name in Memoirs of a Geisha is the use of English as a main movie language with occasional Japanese terms here and there. Other than that, it is, yes, breathtaking from the very first scene till the end.

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

Rating: 9/10

Published by

Paweł Gościcki

Ruby/Rails programmer.

12 thoughts on “Review: Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)”

  1. I think that japanese movies are good ones too. But they are about different things – they are telling the stories of life through the eyes of the japan director. And america movies about Japan – they are telling a story about exotic (for an american) culture. So I think, that you like them so much, cause they are showing something different, something exotic.

    Apart from that – I also liked Last Samurai. ;] And I think I’ll watch Memoirs of a Geisha with a pleasure.

  2. That’s a good argument also. Overally, I do enjoy japanese cinema too, it’s just that latelty I’ve seen one too many boring movie coming from that part of our world, so I’m a little bit bitter on that particular topic.

  3. Memoirsof A geisha movie was not half as good as the book… it didnt capture the beauty and feelings of Sayuri as the book. I just thought a lot more could have been done with a book that i have loved for years

  4. Are you using a plugin for your review posts? I just found your WP Movie Ratings plugin, and I’ll probably be using it, but I’d like a plugin to create movie review posts. I was using RumMovie plugin, but it broke when I upgraded to WP2.0.

    Your reviews look very sharp, and I like the inclusion of the star rating at the bottom.

  5. The “stars” images are the result of a custom plugin that will probably be incorporated into the WP Movie Ratings at some point in the future (alongside with the custom background). It’s pointless now to release it separately as it’s quite messy code…

  6. Evidently, as is typical, the book is better. Why? Because the book doesn’t need to keep your attention without a break like a feature-length film does. So the book version of this can go into exquisite detail about the processes of becoming geisha, while the film adaptation needs to trim some of that to make the movie shorter.

    Your review is apt, and the book is better, but it really doesn’t matter in determining the quality of the movie.

  7. I enjoyed watching Memoirs of the Geisha , You feel that your glimpsing into a hidden world where an average people isn’t allowed into , Kind of like looking into the world of famous untouchable people , into their more intimate human lives.

    Most of the Japanese Films I see are from the horror genre and most of them are good , from what I saw I think the Japanese films are more direct while Hollywood films are more dramatic.

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