The story of a married silkworm merchant-turned-smuggler in 19th century France traveling to Japan for his town's supply of silkworms after a disease wipes out their African supply. During his stay in Japan, he becomes obsessed with the concubine of a local baron.
The story follows a married couple, apart for a night while the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he's attracted. While he's resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love.
A married silkworm smuggler, Herve Joncour, in 19th Century France who travels to Japan to collect his clandestine cargo. While there he spots a beautiful Japanese woman, the concubine of a local baron, with whom he becomes obsessed. Without speaking the same language, they communicate through letters until war intervenes. Their unrequited love persists however, and Herve's wife Helene begins to suspect. Written by
Steaming water. Strange trees. Laughing children. Her skin... those eyes. But why should I tell you about it? Why now? Maybe I just need to tell someone about it. And that someone is you.
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This movie was very good. I know a lot of reviewers were bored and didn't like that there wasn't subtitles for the Japanese. Admittedly the issue with the subtitles would have made the movie easier to understand. In the middle of the movie there is some confusion about what exactly has transpired between Pitt and his Japanese contact and why the initial interlude between Pitt and the Japanese concubine occurs in the first place but these don't seem to be so dear to the plot that you can't remain in the dark and still get the point of the movie.
The landscape is breathtaking, the acting was great by every member of the supporting cast. I like Michael Pitt, but it seems like he can only play one character and it's the throaty sensitive guy. I was surprised that Keira Knightley took such a minor role but the punch at the end gives her character quite a bit of intrigue. As always she is wonderful and I liked Alfred Molina as well.
The cinematography was good and understated. The script was simple and it didn't seem like they wasted any words. Quite the opposite in fact.
I understand why others didn't like it but I get the impression that this is due to a lack of patience on their part.
Good movie. Try it out.
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