I promised myself to read the book first before watching the movie. In five days, my mind and emotions were on rollercoaster ride off the world of Sayuri – the Geisha, the protagonist. I could clearly picture in my mind the characters, the narrations, the culture, colors and the beauty of the location (Gion, Japan) where the story unfolds.
It is good to read a book that deals with human struggle and the protagonist’s success against all odds, rags to riches storyline always works. I could somehow relate to poverty and slavery and how Sayuri despite all these difficulties and series of unfortunate events (the horrible hopeless situation, cruel rivals) was able to rise above to became a famous Geisha and ultimately achieve her secret dreams. Thanks to all the conniving, scheming and game playing – by her friends and people who deeply cared for her besides their personal objectives.
This is indeed a victim/survivor story at the backdrop of the early 19th century Japan. And it is worth reiterating that a Geisha is not a prostitute but an accomplished entertainer or artist.
I love the way the book was presented in the movie. How they twisted, added or deleted some aspects which altogether made the movie an art on its own. For anyone who could not have read the book could still capture the essence of the story.. I was mesmerised by Sayuri’s enigmatic dance number – which seems to have transformed her more into a kabuki dancer than a geisha – though this was not in the book. The misuage test- doctor, groggy painter, the island scenes, the American businessman instead of Japanese, moving to New York…were some of the changes.
Despite the some bad reviews, like casting non-Japanese born actors, movie being just a big drag show in a place that never existed, etc…. no one can refute that the movie is a beautiful film one should definitely see.
GEISHAS AND JAPAYUKIS
Well I could not help myself. I just love almost everything about the Japanese – even after the cruelty and devastation they did to our country during the war and towards our workers at present. I think they are worth emulating – still.
They are just so focused on the things they do – which is a very good thing. Well, besides, the words honor, discipline, and courage – arts and culture is very important. Maybe that is the reason, why they are so successful as a country!
The beautiful kimonos, the Japanese garden, the haikus, the daily life practices and tradition, tea ceremonies, the bath – are like bedrocks of arts that…. Translates into a river of people with spirit and hence people with purpose/direction which…. Translates into a country with technology and scientific advancement … translates into economic development, etc.
It is just so sad that we Filipinos could not become just like the Japanese – – the best we could ever become are Japayukis (or Filipino Geishas and hopefully not prostitutes)!