This look into the world of Japan's "Geisha" escorts in the 1930s flounders thanks to Marshall's bizarre decision to cast the film with Chinese actors and shoot it in the U.S., but cultural insensitivity isn't this melodrama's only sin. Sayuri (Zhang) is sold into a geisha household, where her companionship skills are refined by Mameha (Yeoh), the chief rival of the household's "Mother" (Momoi). Sayuri is ambivalent about being a geisha until she realizes that it can get her closer to The Chairman (Watanabe), a kindly businessman. Sayuri begins relishing her role as a renowned geisha, and the predictable plot grows in both heft and velocity, straining audience patience with its two and a half hour running time.
Sony Pictures Home Video, Sony Pictures Plz., 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: (310)244-7306, Fax: (310)280-2485, URL: http://www.spe.sony.com, Remarks: Formerly Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
Available on DVD
Running time 137 minutes.
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