Memoirs of a Geisha 2005 CC

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(142) IMDb 7.3/10
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Drama based on the novel by Arthur Golden. Set in a mysterious and exotic world which still casts a potent spell today, the story begins in the years before World War II, when a Japanese child is torn from her penniless family to work as a servant in a geisha house. Despite a treacherous rival who nearly breaks her spirit, the girl blossoms into the legendary geisha Sayuri (Ziyi Zhang). Beautiful and accomplished, Sayuri captivates the most powerful men of her day, but is haunted by her secret love for the one man beyond her reach.

Starring:
Koji Yakusho, Ken Tsang
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 19 minutes
Starring Koji Yakusho, Ken Tsang, Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Youki Kudoh, Michelle Yeoh, Suzuka Ohgo, Gong Li, Kaori Momoi
Director Rob Marshall
Genres Drama, Romance
Studio BUENA VISTA HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 5 June 2006
Main languages English
Subtitles English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Mcpherson on 3 July 2006
Format: DVD
I read the book Memoirs of a Geisha when it was first published about 6 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed. I watched the DVD last week and loved every minute. I would suggest that you watch the extra footage on the "Look of a Geisha" and the making of the film first; then you will appreciate the expertise of the costume makers; the training the actors had to do to play the part of a Geisha and the language difficulties. It is a film I feel is well worth buying and that I will watch more than once just to admire the costumes
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. Reynolds on 28 Jun. 2006
Format: DVD
So it isn't as good as the book - who cares - when you have two of the most beautiful chinese actress' and one of the finest Japanese actors (if not the best) in history; portraying this epic true story of one womans life through hardship and pain to final happiness and true love.

The true effect of the cinematograhy is a little lost in translation from the big screen to the small screen but the pure beauty and serenty of Zhang Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh is breath taking,costumes and makeup are stunning, too.

Ken Watannbe produces a performance both powerful and understated exhibiting how a man of high position and influence can still be full of humility and understanding.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "multi_culti_me" on 19 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
I read the book a while ago and was very anxious to see the film when it launched. In complete objectivity, I must say that each art form - written and visual - must be appreciated individually and each one can stand proudly on its own. This film was extremely symbolic (in particular, the war narrative part and its symbolic imagery in water), mysterious (as is the world of the geisha), lyrical, and visually appealing: a refreshingly simple work of art. Amidst the raucous and inname films continuously being made, this one pays homage to a dying breed of Japanese culture and history. This is a film well worth seeing and keeping for a future generation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Hastings on 4 Jan. 2007
Format: DVD
Lavish cinematography means `Memoirs of a Geisha' is never anything less than visually beautiful, and it's hard to think of how any other movie could beat it to an Oscar in this department come March next year. However, the true merit of the film lies in the fact that its sumptuous style does not outweigh substance, something particularly thankful given that such an imbalance was so unfortunately true of House of Flying Daggers, the last major release to star Ziyi Zhang. Instead, the truly enchanting performance of 12-year old Suzaka Oghu, who plays the young Sayuri for the first half hour, ensures attention is captured within her character's story for the rest of the drama. This allows the script to remain pleasingly understated, and also means the unlikely nature of the romance can be overlooked.

The hibernation that the story withdraws into during the wartime years could so easily have been damaging, but in the event the portrayal of how the post-war influx of American troops corrupted Japan's ancient traditions is just as excellent as the rest of the film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Jun. 2006
Format: DVD
I have to say I haven't read the book to compare the film against, but I found the film to be both beautiful and intriguing to watch. It is fascinating to see the kinds of situations a Geisha would of put into and how they dealt with it, and the training they underwent. It is also interesting to see the hierarchy in the Geisha world, as well as the distinction between geisha and prostitutes. This film is stunning in it's imagery and direction and the story holds you until the end. My girlfriend has read the book and loved the film also.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
As the story begins, young Chiyo (Suzuka Ohgo) and her sister and sold by their poor parents to be servant girls in a geisha house far away. The girls are separated, and Chiyo's life is one of constant work and punishment, until the day she meets the Chairman (Ken Watanabe). The handsome businessman is kind to the miserable little girl and from that moment, she vows to become a geisha so she can see him again. Chiyo escapes the jealousy of head geisha Hatsumomo (Li Gong), and becomes the prot' of Mameha (Michelle Yeoh) who helps her become the most celebrated geisha in the city. And then WWII changes everything.

I enjoyed every minute of this film. The costumes and scenery are exquisite, the acting is excellent, and script is powerful and touching. The story contrasts the harsh life of little Chiyo with the graceful elegance of the geishas, and it's a visual feast. The best scenes were those with Ken Watanabe, whose confidence and charisma are very appealing. Heartily recommended for its story and breathtaking beauty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alexander J. Dunn on 23 April 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have always looked in films for that ability to allow you to escape utterly into its world. This film is a perfect example of a film which has that ability in ample qualities. From the opening music, courtesy of John Williams, with it poetic narration, 'Memoirs of a Geisha' takes us into the heart of life as a geisha in 1930s Japan with great ease and beauty. The cinematography is wonderful throughout as well as the costumes and lighting.

The acting is very good although it errs on the side of caution rather too much which sometimes lends the performances a slightly stiff quality. Ken Watanabe is by far the strongest in the cast with a very sensitive and charismatic portrayl as the Chairman. Also, Gong Li is fantastic as the tortured geisha Hatsumomo.

The real strength of this film, in my opinion, is that it tells the story so clearly and confidently. So many films have no sense of momentum or direction and it makes a change to have a film that is simply a great tale well told.
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