Memoirs of a Geisha


Why did I rent Memoirs of a Geisha? I hated the book on which it was based. Ziyi Zhang’s breathily portentous line reading in the preview — “A story like mine has NEVER been told” — made me roll my eyes. The little I heard of John Williams’ score made me long for Tan Dun’s superior work in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I suppose Memoirs made its way onto my Netflix queue because it seemed a shame to pass up the chance to see Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang on screen together, but I should have trusted my instincts. Memoirs of a Geisha is a dull, overwrought mess. I would have been better off holding my own personal marathon of the trio’s greatest hits, maybe Farewell My Concubine, Crouching Tiger, House of Flying Daggers and 2046.