During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
A loose adaptation of Hamlet, "The Night Banquet" is set in an empire in chaos. The Emperor, the Empress, the Crown Prince, the Minister and the General all have their own enemies they would like to finish off at a night banquet.
In 1929 an impoverished nine-year-old named Chiyo from a fishing village is sold to a geisha house in Kyoto's Gion district and subjected to cruel treatment from the owners and the head geisha Hatsumomo. Her stunning beauty attracts the vindictive jealousy of Hatsumomo, until she is rescued by and taken under the wing of Hatsumomo's bitter rival, Mameha. Under Mameha's mentorship, Chiyo becomes the geisha named Sayuri, trained in all the artistic and social skills a geisha must master in order to survive in her society. As a renowned geisha she enters a society of wealth, privilege, and political intrigue. As World War II looms Japan and the geisha's world are forever changed by the onslaught of history. Written by
Because none of the Japanese rickshaws were large enough for the two women to be comfortably seated next to each other, the rickshaw used for the scenes in which Mameha and Sayuri travel together in one carriage was manufactured in California, using wheels and axles shipped in from Japan. See more »
When Chiyo apologizes to Mameha about the kimono; when she first bows both sleeves of her kimono are behind her arms but in the next scene when Mameha kneels beside her, the right sleeve is on top of her arm instead of behind it. See more »
I'm wonder why Mrs. Nitta has not adopted Hatsumomo?
That would be like releasing the tiger from its cage.
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I was initially dubious about going to see this film after I read a lot of mixed reviews. However, I am glad that I decided to just bite the bullet and go see it. This is one of the most visually stunning and entrancing films I have ever seen, with a wonderful storyline which had me clutching the edge of my seat in sheer frustration! I absolutely loved the love story that was central to the film, although I was a bit worried by the age gap. lol. It made me really want a snow cone though. I thought Zhang Ziyi was fantastic in the part of Sayuri, and she made the character very endearing and real. I am a big fan of Ken Watanabe, and it was good to see him in a part like this; the relationship was very believable and I thought they were both great. In fact, all the actors in this film did their characters justice and helped to make the film as beautiful and Oscar-worthy as it is. I just loved the story and all the sets that provided a wonderful backdrop for such an emotional, powerful tale. I recommend this to everyone! It's THAT good!
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