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  1. #1

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    Memoirs of A Geisha trade review

    Memoirs of a Geisha By Kirk Honeycutt

    Bottom line: A respectable film version of best seller that nevertheless misses the novel's subtleties.
    While the 1997 best-selling novel "Memoirs of a Geisha" was written by an American, Arthur Golden, he absorbed enough of Japanese culture in his years of travel and study to convey the mysterious world of the geisha as one of subtlety, discretion, ritual and tradition. The movie version, directed by "Chicago's" Rob Marshall and written by Robin Swicord, has, frankly, Americanized the story. By this I mean the filmmakers make characters crasser, ignore nuances within geisha tradition and give characters attitudes and dialogue highly unlikely for Depression-era Japan. The heroine, who in time becomes a legendary geisha, is modeled in the film more after a willful, modern American teen than a young Japanese woman.

    "Memoirs" has generated plenty of heat on its way to the screen. The novel reportedly has been translated into 32 languages and the film production criticized for the casting of three leading Chinese actors -- Ziyi Zhang, Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li -- as Japanese. So opening boxoffice grosses will be strong. As an exotic romance set in the lost world of prewar Japan, the film should have sufficient legs to become a hit this holiday season.
    Last edited by ALIASd; 11-19-2005 at 01:41 PM. Reason: spelling
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  2. #2

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    Re: Memoirs of A Geisha trade review

    I love this book, and as so, I'm really disappointed to hear of the changes to the characters. Particularly Sayuri. However, the book was so rich and detailed and contained so much subtle character development it would have been difficult at best to relay such things in film.

    I'll still go see this movie, but I hope I'm not really disappointed.

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  3. #3

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    Re: Memoirs of A Geisha trade review

    Ziyi Zhang is really pretty. I was disappointed when they cast a Chinese woman as a Japanese geisha. I'm shocked that the Japanese people are not more upset about it. I want tos ee it for Ziyi Zhang, but I've always meant to read the book too, so maybe I should ( I got bored trying to read it in 98... I way only 12 though, so... )
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