Review: Memoirs of a Geisha

A quick précis of the review for the impatient: It was pants.

Right then. Penny and I went to see it on Sunday in between our two climbing sessions. As background to this review, Penny has just recently finished reading the book by Arthur Golden, which she enjoyed immensely. I have never read the book.

Right, personally I thought the film was drab and uninspired. It made me feel how it must be living a life on anti-depressants. No excitement, no awe, no sadness, no joy, nothing. The only thing it made me feel was it made my arse ache from sitting there all the time. As a film of a very symbolic subject matter, set in a very ritualistic society, it lacked all the hallmarks of an Asian film. Hell, even Last of the Samurai was better in it’s use of Eastern symbolism than MoaG! So overall, somewhat interesting but really nothing to write home about at all.

Penny despised it with a passion. Apparently, if I hadn’t been there too, she would have walked out of the film after about the first hour. She stated that the characterisation was extremely poor and that the entire story was robbed of pretty much all of it’s subtlety and grace and been replaced by a kludgey story that was about as subtle as a smack in the head with a brick.

It’s not that she generally objects to film adaptations of books, generally she has enjoyed most adaptations, even if it means considering them as independent entities. This one had her facing away from the screen for periods, muttering curses at the director under her breath.

Ah yes, the director. With hindsight, that might have been the problem. It was Rob Marshall, the director of ‘Chicago’ (a poor adaptation of a theatre musical) and a TV rendition of ‘Annie’. That’s it. I think we know where the blame falls.


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