(L-R) Sayuri (Zhang ZiYi), Mameha (Michelle Yeoh), and Hatsumomo (Gong Li)
Went and watch this film after hearing so much about the cinematography and the beautiful costumes and kimono. Having read the story book years ago, I felt that it only did an okay job of trying to fit everything in 2 hours. The story wasn't emotionally touching enough, though I must say that Zhang Zi Yi (Sayuri/Koichi) and Gong Li (Hatsumomo) conversed very well and clearly after their language training. But do go watch it for cultural exposure, there's lots of Japanese elements that I learnt from it. For example, I always thought Geisha's were equivalent to courtesan's (prostitutes), but they are artists (dancers, musicians etc) althought they do auction their mizuage. Despite being the villain, I thought Hatsumomo played by Gong Li was the most outstanding amongst them all. Just look at how Sayuri and Hatsumomo had different endings in their approach of the same problem in the life of a geisha : the freedom to love.
A famous quote taken from the show in reference to geisha's:
She paints her face to hide her face. Her eyes are deep water. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances, she sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret.
Yet, my favourite quote would be
" A true Geisha can stop a man with one look..."
A true Gaysha indeed... :P