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Memoirs of a Geisha (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition) (Bilingual)

28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh, Suzuka Ohgo, Togo Igawa
  • Directors: Rob Marshall
  • Writers: Arthur Golden, Robin Swicord
  • Producers: Bobby Cohen, Douglas Wick, Gary Barber, John DeLuca, Lucy Fisher
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : General Audience (G)
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: March 28 2006
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,301 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

A Cinderella story set in a mysterious and exotic world, this stunning romantic epic shows how a house servant blossoms, against all odds, to become the most captivating geisha of her day.

"... a visually stunning adaptation of Arthur Golden's best-selling novel." (Barry Caine, OAKLAND TRIBUNE) The director of Chicago, Rob Marshall, transports us into a mysterious and exotic world that casts a potent spell. A Cinderella story like no other, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA stars Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li. "Gorgeously photographed, meticulously directed and hypnotically acted. MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA is luxurious, ethereal and intoxicating. It will leave you breathless." (Rex Reed, NEW YORK OBSERVER)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 15 2006
Format: DVD
As the film begins, young Chiyo (Suzuka Ohgo) and her sister and sold by their poor parents to be servant girls in a geisha house far away. They are separated, and Chiyo's life is filled with work, punishment, and loneliness, until the day she meets the Chairman (Ken Watanabe). The handsome businessman is kind to the little girl, and from that moment she vows to become a geisha so she can see him again. With the help of her mentor (Michelle Yeoh), she becomes the most celebrated geisha in the city. And then WWII changes everything.

I really enjoyed everything about "Memoirs." The costumes and scenery are simply exquisite, the acting is excellent, and the script is powerful and touching. The story contrasts the harsh life of little Chiyo with the graceful elegance of the geishas, and it's such a visual feast that it was hard to leave the theatre and not see any kimonos. The best scenes were those with Ken Watanabe, whose confidence and charisma are very appealing. All of the actors are very good and I really cared about the characters. Heartily recommended for its story and breathtaking beauty.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAME on July 12 2006
Format: DVD
Three movies won three Oscars this year and one of those three was "Memoirs of a Geisha." These were for the Art Direction by art director John Myrhe and set decorator Gretchen Rau, Dion Beebe's Cinematography, and Colleen Atwood's Costume Design. Those particular awards should be sufficient to tell you that this is a gorgeous looking film, but once you see it you may well come to the conclusion that the style of the film is its most substantive part. There is great beauty here, to be sure, but not the soul that would make it a great film.

I have not read Arthur Golden's best-selling novel, but I am aware that those who have are not simply complaining that the book is better (a constant complaint applicable to almost all literature adapted to the screen), but saying that the script by Robin Swicord ("Practical Magic") has changed the novel into something inferior. Obviously, I cannot speak to that, but I can comment on why this 2005 film proves to be less than satisfactory taken on its own terms.

Young Chiyo (Suzuka Ohgo) and her sister are taken from their farming village and sold to a geisha house run by Mother (Kaori Momoi). Chiyo ends up a possible candidate for becoming a geisha, although she has not idea what that means, while her sister, Satsu (Samantha Futerman) is immediately forced to work as a prostitute. The geisha of the house, Hatsuomo (Li Gong), takes exception to the young girl and threatens to crush her. But when she grows up, Chiyo (Ziyi Zhang), begins her training in earnest and is given the geisha name Sayuri, and is taken under the wing of the great geisha Mameha (Michelle Yeoh).
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Format: DVD
Rob Marshall the director engaged the author Arthur Golden to assist in making his book come to life on the screen. It is a visually stunning artistic masterpiece. The landscapes of Japan are shown in their exotic magnificence with long shots and skilled cinematography. The entire story can not be put on screen but the most unique and intriguing aspects of Chiyo's story were chosen and come to life. Chiyo is a young girl of 9 years who is sold along with her sister to a Geisha house in Kyoto, to be trained for the Geisha lifestyle. Her mother is ill and dies. Her father, a simple fisherman, can not cope with raising two young daughters. He does what he thinks is best to ensure their place in the world.

Chiyo has distinctive alluring eyes which set her apart from her peers - they will likely ensure her popularity and fame, if she develops the skills associated with the geisha training. Her eyes create jealousy in the Geisha named Hatsumomo, whose working skills and talents provide the money to support the lives of everyone associated with the establishment which bought Chiyo. A rivalry develops within the establishement over who will be chosen as successor to Mamasan/Mother, the owner of the Geisha house. Mother had no daughters of her own. She keeps Hatsumomo and the geisha trainees guessing as to her plans. She is a skilled businesswoman and plays her cards very close-fisted ...

Chiyo feels locked up and imprisoned in the Geisha establishment. She wants very badly to see her sister, Satsu. Hatsumomo, the head Geisha uses this knowledge against Chiyo. Hatsumomo is a selfish spoiled Geisha -she treats the young trainees badly as she looks to satisfy her every whim.
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By Daniel Jolley TOP 100 REVIEWER on June 18 2006
Format: DVD
With so many filmmakers producing films these days, it's a rare joy to sit and watch a work of actual cinematic artistry. Memoir of a Geisha is a beautiful film in almost every way -- the vibrant cinematography, the music (featuring a score by John Williams and solos by both Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma), and of course the mysterious Geisha at the heart of this story. One can easily understand why many, especially the Japanese, were less than thrilled by the casting of Chinese actresses in the film's prominent roles (especially since the Chinese and Japanese were at war during the era in which this story takes place), but I don't think anyone can complain about the women's performances. Gong Li portrays the vindictive Hatsumomo to a tee, even revealing the vulnerability that helped make her the wicked woman she was. Michelle Yeoh brings grace and beauty to the part of Mameha, the woman who made it possible for the main character to escape a life of virtual slavery and become the Geisha she longed to be. For me, though, it's really all about Ziyi Zhang, a young actress whose beauty and talent have never failed to mesmerize me. She was absolutely enchanting in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of the Flying Daggers, and this film allowed me to see her in a completely dramatic light. I must also add that Zhang had some pretty big shoes to fill, as Suzuka Ohgo was absolutely fabulous as Chiyo, the girl who would grow up to be one of the most celebrated Geishas in the land.

I think most Westerners tend to associate Geisha with prostitutes, owing mainly to the reality of Japanese girls calling themselves Geisha as they sold themselves to American soldiers after the war.
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