Monday, February 27, 2006

akhir kyo(to)?

Let these words supply the effect, if you will, of a sigh of boredom that has lasted all the way from Saturday night when, for lack of sufficient entertainment, and also because I got all excited about Gong Li, the flatmates and I went to watch Memoirs of a Geisha. I think I will wait for Brokeback Mountain before venturing out to the cinema again. (Rather proud of self for not suffering a coronary with the excitement of having seen 'Coming Soon' posters of BBM. Although it was very close.)

Until it comes down, though, I must perforce wonder why the world is so, like a broken-down and oppressed teenager, in love with its own sad uncoolness as to produce a film like Memoirs for mass consumption. This cinematic masturbation, I am sorry to say, exists. And that is about the best thing that can be said about it. Actually, Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li are the best things to be said about it. And I can't pretend I didn't like seeing Ken Watanabe again, although he is living proof now of the fact that there are worse things in film than being seen next to Thomas Cruise. You could be cast in the creepy Hollywood adaptation of a slimy novel about a seriously disturbing aspect of Japanese urban life as a creepy, slimy, seriously disturbing rich guy that likes little girl prostitutes. Eurgh. *mocking voice* Geisha are not prostitutes! Geisha are works of art! Geisha are fetish objects for Western civilisation! Geisha are therefore cool!

And like that other famous travesty of modern logic, Rang De Basanti, this film, too, bears the brunt of a weak script that collapses in the second half and can't wait until it exhausts itself at its only possible conclusion. The more objectionable lines and scenes from the film beg to be quoted, but I fear I might make the impression that I believe it deserves an argument.


And apparently all three female leads - the central figure being the puzzlingly popular Zhang Ziyi - are coming under fire for betraying their Chinese origins and culture by portraying Japanese prostitutes? What a delicious dilemma. On the one hand, the freedom of the artist to create or perform what art she likes. On the other, the unquestionably immoral act of posing for a film like this. What is to be said?

eta: I think I might faint of delighted love for Yevgeny Plushenko.


  1. I loved that movie.

  2. "Freedom of the artist to perform or create what art she likes. "Unfortunately all art does not pay well-Make your passion your profession

  3. Anonymous6:30 pm

    chup baith you pseudo-intellectual philistine..this comment is in response to your rang de basanti post...twas an excellent movie...and your blog on that was an unmitigated travesty

  4. @ ikies: subjectivity is never overrated, is it. :D

    @ hiren: I'll take your advice as soon as I have a moment to spare, thanks.

    @ anon: no. my blog, my opinions. I ought to delete your comment's sorry arse off for using a word like 'philistine', but it's enlightening to note how the human ability for language can sometimes illustrate the old pearls before swine idea.

  5. Anonymous6:58 pm

    i think its a very apt word for this blog's malkin.

  6. lol...i also became thoda senti when I read ur post on RDB...but not to this extent. :DDDDDDDDD

    Though Mr. A. N. Onymous..I think you should post with a proper identity...why the fear of recognition :D

  7. Kausha11:57 am

    I want to watch 'Memoris OF a Geisha'as well. More so for zhang zhiyi and Ken Watanabe. They act pretty well. I liked RDB though.

    but, the above commenting without no name is so easy to do. It's rather distasteful.

  8. Phattu, annonymous naam daal de mere bhai

  9. ... and the fine art of bitchslapping is swinging into revival! :D :D thank you, gentlemen. i'd ask you not to waste your time, but i'm touched.

    kaush: you and every other man i know loves zhang ziyi. i think my jaundiced female eyes must be missing something. :) but there's not enough ken watanabe in this film - he's very barely there for a few scenes.

  10. Even I thought the movie was quite good. The rooftops scene in the beginning was so well shot! End was extremely bad, yes. And yes, I liked the contrast between post and pre-war Japan, even though it was made to stand out so much that it was bordering on corny. Lost in Translation, MoaGeisha. Hmm. I think I like Japan. :D

    P.S. Spoilers above
    P.P.S. Why haven't you turned off anon comments?

  11. Well, save me the trouble of obtaining a copy of this, then. Sounds pretty bad.

    On another note, Roswitha, I hope you're planning on doing something with this skill at writing. I think I've told you that before but it is the kind of writing that make you just want to bathe in the words. (Ow, the T's and K's hurt sometimes, though.)

  12. @ prateek: I love the idea of Japan too, and I definitely want to go there myself someday. I think it's just the sort of place it occupies in the collective imagination. Very Romantic.

    @ bitch|lab: Encouragement from you is almost like getting a room of one's own. :) I'd like to assure you that I'm trying to get somewhere with my writing, but Real Life is intruding a bit blatantly at the mo. Thanks so much for dropping by!