Postby DanRoddy » June 7th, 2006 7:46 am
The issue of whether or not non-Japanese starred in the film is a non-starter. The movie was let down by otherwise perfectly good actors being stifled in their performances by having to act in English. It's difficult to emote properly when you don't know where the stresses come. Watanbe's English positively contributed to his role in Last Samurai, but here it is poor.
The worst bit, and frankly it spoiled the whole thing for me, is the ludicrous modern dance routine. The wife smiled, and said it was "A bit strange." She's one for understatement. She extended it to the appearance of the geisha themselves, who look all far too much like modern models instead of the other-worldly figures they would have been - after all, it was a completely unique aesthethic. Still, litle point in complaining: Hollywood always plays with reality, that's its function.
The book on the otherhand, though I was conditioned to not like it by the story of how it was written, is actually very good, and a solid reminder of just how far the country moved, even in the post-war period. Apart from a few details, you could swear the lifestyle of the girls would have fitted into 19th, 18th or even 17th century (whoops, bit of colonialism here) Japan.