Saturday, December 17, 2005

Movie Thoughts: Memoirs of a Geisha

To celebrate the start of a two-week Christmas break, another teacher and I headed off to the movies yesterday after school. We saw "Memoirs of a Geisha," the new film based on Arthur Golden's book.

The overwhelming impression I left the theater with is that this movie is gorgeous. The actors, the music, the fabrics, the dancing, the scenery -- all unite to create a movie that's enjoyable simply on its sensory appeal alone.

I had tried to read the novel several months ago in anticipation of the movie. And while it held my attention somewhat, I just couldn't get into it. About halfway through I gave up the fight to persist until the end and returned it to the library. I did wonder, though, if the movie would demonstrate that I had made a hasty decision in not reading the whole thing. But after seeing the movie yesterday, I actually felt somewhat affirmed in my choice. A few times during the movie, I had the impression that if I took a few junior high girls I know and dressed them up in beautiful kimonos, I would have quite a similar storyline.

You may disagree with me. The coworker I was with cried at the end (though she laughingly admitted she wasn't really sure why). But this one didn't emotionally resonate with me on a story level. I didn't feel all that attached to the characters (besides hoping things would turn out well for these beautiful people) or to the love story, which is a primary motivation for Chiyo (the main character).

But I wasn't bored at all. I truly enjoyed the whole movie. It's stunning. I would probably see it at least once more. I'm considering buying the soundtrack. I loved the closing lines.

So, perhaps sometimes, sensory appeal alone is enough.


Anonymous Will said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Andrea.
We're getting a little antsy for the film to open up close enough for us to see it.
You brought up something that I keep hearing about the film: gorgeous, but not endearing.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

I read the book the week before I saw the movie and I thought the book was so much better. You got a lot more insight into the woman's life--the picture behind the pretty picture, you know.

Key details were wrong in the movie, too, which was annoying!

(Here via Godblogroll . . .I'm an INTJ, too.)

3:51 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Mel!

2:24 PM  

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