Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
Memoirs of a Geisha the film was a fair adaptation of Arthur Golden's book. However, like the book, the movie is mediocre. I personally think they pair well though, and one shouldn't read or watch one without the other. Where one lacks, the other produces and vice versa.
The film has more of a Japanese feel than the book. Golden does describe Japanese culture within his book, but when watching the movie I was weirdly surprised that the characters were Asian. I didn't realize it, but as I read the book I was picturing western characters. Golden simply wasn't able to keep western influences out of his Japanese characters. The movie also depicts the Japanese setting much better then Golden. These two points are easy for film as it is watched, but a little harder for authors, as we must imagine the characters. After watching the film I realized just how much Golden failed in these areas.
The movie felt quite rushed. It breezed through Sayori's childhood and the steps she took to become a Geisha. I wasn't able to form an emotional attachment with the movie's characters, which rendered the film to be quite boring. In my opinion this is because the movie script stuck way too closely to the events that happened in the book. The script attempted to capture even the most minute of details, like the moment when Pumpkin eat's an old piece of squid off the cobblestone street. An unnecessary scene that does nothing to shape Pumpkin's character.
A few changes were made to the characters and plot points which is necessary when creating a film from a book. The changes were mostly inconsequential and understandable.
Regardless, Memoirs of a Geisha is a decent historical ficiton film if you have nothing else to watch. If you do read the book, I recommend watching the movie and vice versa. All in all, both the book and movie don't delve deep enough into Japanese culture and the Geisha's struggle.
What did you think of the movie? Leave your comments below!