Critic Reviews for Sakuran
The characters are likeable but thin and, despite a few raw, persuasive scenes, the script feels emotionally stunted.
So full of attitude that it fairly leaps off the screen with claws bared
In short, Sakuran is an enjoyable, superbly directed and impressively acted drama that gives a delicious manga-slash-J-pop twist to the geisha story. Worth seeking out.
If it is all a little like an arty novelette, there's no doubt it is a feast for the eye.
But Ninagawa's obsession with image-making saps the story until the movie, like its heroine, is merely handsomely mounted.
Audience Reviews for Sakuran
Sakuran (2006) This Japanese movie is not yet available on DVD here in the U.S. and is often compared to Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). I personally feel that Sakuran is a lot better movie. Perhaps director Mika Ninagawa's amazing visuals are due to the story being based on the Manga, versus Memoirs' being based on the novel. Also, Anna Tsuchiya's character Kiyoha, is a loud-mouthed broad that isn't afraid to tell you what she thinks of you, versus the typical female-playing-victim that we get here in American chick-flicks. Not that she doesn't get her fair share of abuse from the men she meets. She can dish it out as well as she takes it. The movie also is romantic and even a little sentimental. I didn't fully appreciate the more modern mix of music in the soundtrack. It really didn't fit the movie well and was slightly distracting. But, other than that it was an excellent movie and I highly recommend it.
Great artisticly executed movie from Mika Ninagawa... I really enjoyed everything she did in this movie set in 18th Century Edo, Japan. “Sakuran” traces the life of Kiyoha as she ascents from the lowly courtesan ranks to the high class position of Oiran in the steamy red-light district of Yoshiwara. The oiran were women that existed during the Edo era and they lived in self-contained “Pleasure Quarters” and like geishas were required to be well-versed with the arts of dance, music, poetry and calligraphy, and conversation. However, unlike geishas, the oiran were prostitutes, although they were considered to be elite prostitutes.
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