Ben Oliver

Banner image for Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha

A story like mine should never be told.
08 January 2017

A historical romance set in pre and postwar Japan.

Memoirs of a Geisha is a beautifully made film, well deserving of its Oscars for Art Direction, Cinematography and (especially) Costume Design.

It’s a shame that it’s wasted on a story so cliched and bland that it might bore you to tears. At two and a half hours the film simply feels like it’s never going to end. What starts out as a foreign and exotic setting quickly becomes dull and pedestrian as the narrative simply repeats over and over.

The love story holding the film together is poorly handled, since the two leads barely seem to share a connection even when they are finally allowed to express their longing for one another.

This is cynical Hollywood awards-bait at the expense of the audience, and probably Japanese culture as a whole. Best avoided unless you like really nice Kimonos.