Set in 1930s Japan, it’s the story of a young girl, first called “Chiyo,” who was sold by her fisherman father, and put to work as a servant in a geisha house.
She is mistreated by the owners of the geisha house, and head geisha Hatsumoma (Li Gong), until she is older and grows into a beautiful woman.
Hatsumoma’s rival geisha Mameha (Michelle Yeoh) takes Chiyo under her wing, and teaches her to become one of them.
She later becomes the popular and desired geisha called “Sayuri” (Ziyi Zhang).
The film follows her life throughout those years, as she enters high society and a life of privilege.
A jealous Hatsumoma plans to destroy her.
As Sayuri falls in love with the powerful chairman (Ken Watanabe), she wants to leave the geisha house and pursue him.
“Memoirs of a Geisha” is based on the novel of the same title by Arthur Golden, and is director Rob Marshall’s followup film to the Academy-Awardwinning “Chicago.” In it, he takes two Chinese leads, Zhang (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) and Gong (“Raise the Red Lantern”) and Malaysian actress Yeoh (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”), and poses them as Japanese geishas.
The film also stars Academy- Award-nominated Watanabe (“The Last Samurai”) and Kaua‘i’s own Cary Tagawa (“Elektra”). (Please see interview, left.) “Memoirs” opened to wide release in December, and now makes its way to Coconut Marketplace Cinemas in Waipouli.
Be sure to check the local listing times in The Garden Island.
Zhang is currently up for a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for best female lead for her role as Sayuri.
The film is also up for a best original score award.
- Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or email@example.com.