|Memoirs of a Geisha. . .the BOOK!!!!!!!!
||[Jan. 4th, 2006|10:51 am]
borderline between what and what?!
I finally saw the movie Memoirs of a Geisha last night. It took me only two days to read the 400-page book, because I simply could not put it down. The book opens up an enchanting world without endlessly clinging onto setting detail. For instance- I get bored very easily when I have to read pages and pages of rolling hills, slight breezes through the willows, changes in the wind, and how the river flows around a quiet mountain. However, the setting was only briefly described and the book is more centered on emotion and character development. This kind of writing left much room for imagination (something I have yet to master). The characters were 3-dimensional. Each and every character had their own set of mannerisms, dialogue pattern and consistent mood. Each character was able to change the atmosphere, depending on how the character affected the plot- toward or against the interest of the protagonist and heroine. The main character Chiyo/Sayuri was a character whom you could sympathize for because she is narrating- not just stories of her successful Geisha days, but her entire life that includes her humble beginnings as an old fisherman’s daughter. The main antagonist and the enemy throughout the book is a very beautiful, very diabolical woman named Hatsumomo. When Hatsumomo enters any setting, there is just this feeling of impending doom because she is an evil woman, who uses her undeserving outer beauty and charm for deception and pain. She goes out of her way to make Chiyo/Sayuri’s life miserable. But I must say- that the most profound character in the book is the character called “Pumpkin”. The reason why I say that she is a profound character is because of her changes throughout the book. Chiyo meets Pumpkin as a child and they both work as maids together in the Nitta (Nitta is the name of the woman who runs it) Okiya- which is funded by the beautiful and devious Hatsumomo. Hatsumomo decides to take Pumpkin in as her little sister and apprentice Geisha to be trained as a rival for Chiyo. Chiyo gets trained by Hatsumomo’s rival, Mameha. Pumpkin and Chiyo both learn how to be elegant Geisha- not prostitutes- but Geisha, skilled, artistic female companions for the well-to-do. However, while Chiyo maintains her elegance and modesty all throughout the novel, Pumpkin is influenced by American culture when the American soldiers invade Japan. Pumpkin appears to be a critique on the decadence of American culture in contrast to Japanese culture. She drinks, she smokes, she is loud and outspoken- nothing at all like the little shy girl she was earlier in the novel. The book introduces you to a new set of Japanese vocabulary, such as okiya (house where Geisha live) and mizuage (virginity). You may not know anything about Japan or Japanese culture, but you will never forget or stray away from the setting (which is late 1930s-40s Japan) because a picture is constantly being painted without diverting from the plot. |
Now. . .the movie actually did the book some justice. I did not expect this at all. The movie was very true to the characters and the setting in the book. I was very pleased with the movie- although I knew what was going to happen next, I was still on the edge of my seat wondering how it was going to be depicted on film. Surprizingly, the movie did not exclude plot devices that I deemed as important. The movie did not exclude anything that I deemed as necessary advances toward the plot. The movie began at about chapter 5, lol which was cool with me because those first few chapters weren’t the most exciting ever. The movie also did an excellent job in illustrating all that was specifically described in the book, such as the various Kimonos that were worn by various characters. I would say more, but I doubt that anyone is gonna read this anyway, lol. I just had to get it out. The movie was awesome, the end. Lol.