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Country bumpkin Haruko only ever wanted to become a geisha, like her now-deceased mother. Initially rebuffed for lack of references, Haruko's strong accent intrigues a linguistics professor, who undertakes to coach her.
Shohei Sugiyama has attained all that he has wanted in life. But he is still depressed and unhappy. One day, he gathers up the courage to sign up for dancing lessons. He hopes they will rid his depression and help him get his life back together. Written by
Robert Krzanowski <email@example.com>
A wonderful movie that proves Americans hate subtitles
I simply love this movie. It is a perfect example of the well-rounded surprising stories that come out of Asian cinema. There was a recent Hollywood remake of this movie, with Richard Gere and the simply awful Jennifer Lopez. Please do not confuse the two movies. The original Japanese film is touching, subtle and wonderfully acted. The Hollywood version is the exact opposite. I was aghast when I first saw the trailer for the remade US Version and who was starring in it. It's typical Hollywood unoriginal crass commercialism at it's worst. The remake cements the argument that some foreign films can never be improved upon. The ONLY reason the original film did not become more widely viewed is the US audience's aversion to subtitles.
One of the main reasons this movie would never work in an American telling is that the reserved, ultra socially conservative character of the public Japanese persona is at issue in this movie. Certainly the main character awakens to a more full understanding of living a vivacious life through dance, but half of the movie's tension comes from the stereotypes and ridicule ballroom dancers face in Japan.
Please try to see this movie in it's original form, not the terrible full screen. And please DO skip the US remake....it's a shallow travesty in comparison to the original Japanese movie.
Yes, I know the "original" movie is much older, and this is simply a Japanese take on the story, but the only two people are likely to see any time soon are this one and the new US remake.
Speaking of foreign films, I'll make a few quick recommendations: 1.Monsoon Wedding-I list this first for a reason, outstanding film! 2.Johnny Stechino-Very funny Italian mistaken identity flic! 3.Shiri-A Korean action pic that mixes both Asian flare & US style plot 4.Run Lola Run-A German film that integrates it's techno score ingeniously.
Well, just a quick list anyway :-)
48 of 53 people found this review helpful.
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