Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a GeishaMemoirs_of_a_Geisha_Poster

I bought this movie sometime ago and just never got around to watching it. It looked like a sweeping drama about a Geisha living in Miyako, Japan around the time of WWII.  It’s a lot about their world, full of mystery and secrets.  That’s what the film says.  My take on the whole film: slow moving and dull.  The acting is decent, the costumes are brilliant, but the story just simply failed to deliver.  Why is it that some stories get green-lighted into movies that simply aren’t worth it?  Is Hollywood in a rush to turn out volume instead of quality?

I couldn’t tell you who the characters are in this movie.  The people in the story are named in such a way as to be incoherent.  The only people you will remember from scene to scene are those who don’t even have a name.  Instead, they have titles like “the Chairman” or “the Baron”.  I would have been happier if they had names that were short and memorable, like “Iko” or “Hanzo” or “Han”.  At least then you could have followed the story a little better.  Worse still, the main character changes her name 3 times in the movie!  How can anyone adapt to this within a 2 hour film?

Sometimes, people think they are clever in making slight adjusts to character portrayals in period pieces.  For example, a main character appears in an early sequence in the film as bald, but then later he has a full head of hair.  This was done to show that he had aged.  Really?  To me, it would have made more sense to do that in reverse – if that was indeed the intention.  It was yet another confusing element to this film.

The music was grand, and the scenery was absolutely beautiful.  It’s just not a really well-done story.  It has a lot to do with a principle flaw in the tale.  Fact: “Geisha” means artist.  Fact: according to the movie, the main character explains that Geisha are not courtesans or prostitutes – they are paid for their talents at conversation, company, and entertaining skills.  Here’s the confusing part: in the movie we see a Geisha auctioning off her virginity to crowd of men.  Um…isn’t that being a prostitute?  Paid in cash for sex?  Okay, so that was confusing enough to ruin the whole movie.  The clincher as to marking this film as just BIZARRE is that the Geisha explain that their world is full of secrets and that their world will collapse if it doesn’t have that element to it – and yet, I didn’t see one thing about their lives that made them mysterious.

So, if you should happen upon this film and decide to give it a try, remember this: a film that confuses more than it entertains is quite frankly a bad movie.  Now, if you are interested in wasting your time on confusion, then this movie is right up your alley!  I mean it, folks, this film is simply too confusing to be entertaining.  It is NOT a sweeping dramatic love story filled with quasi-historical references. It is NOT a period piece that opens your eyes to the world of the mysterious Geisha.  It is simply a confusing tale about the end of an era in Japanese culture.

…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE.


One thought on “Memoirs of a Geisha

  1. Pingback: #DailyBookQuote 9May13 : Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha | Whatever It's Worth...

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