Monday, September 10, 2007

jmovie review: Sakuran

Beautiful movie about Oiran during the Edo period. Oiran are basically high class prostitutes which predates geisha. However there are many similarities with Geisha movies. Ann Tsuchiya plays Kiyoha, a rebellious young girl that gets sold to a brothel. Her stubbornness brings her into trouble with the Oiran, played by Kanno Miho.

Kanno Miho takes a liking to Kiyoha and teaches her the 'arts'. I love the scene where she intentionally scolds Kiyoha to toughen her resolve. Perhaps she saw something in Kiyoha that she used to have. There's only one way out of the brothel, and that is for the Oiran to be bought by a noble to be his mistress. Kanno Miho finally gains her freedom and we fast forward to when Kimura Yoshino is now the Oiran and Kiyoha is still as stubborn as the day she went in.

Yup, that's Kimura Yoshino. The guys hand was practically stuck to her oppai.

Sounds like a pretty ho-hum show, doesn't it. Suprisingly, this movies manages to take your average story about bitch-fighting and power in a brothel and turn it into a compelling movie. First off, this movie is beautiful. Lots of colours and elaborate costumes. The music ranges from pop to rock to broadway style and somehow it doesn't take away from the movie. It adds to the surrealness.

The best part of the movie is the acting. Anna Tsuchiya is completely mesmerizing as Kiyoha. The fun way she portrays Kiyoha's acts of defiance along with her constant search for a way out. It is as if rebellion is the only thing that is keeping her alive. Every time she's on the screen, she just exudes that charisma. Probably the best thing to say about her acting is that she makes Kiyoha seem real. I'm looking forward to see whether it was a one in a lifetime role for her of whether she is that damn good.

I must mention Natsuki Mari as the mama-san. She's brilliant in what little screen time she has and her chemistry with Anna Tsuchiya is superb. One of the best Japanese movies I've seen. Highly recommended.


roundabout said...

i know about the jdrama source, but where do you get your jmovies and the subs for them?

Akiramike said...