January 27, 2006
I lived in Japan for two amazing years, so I was really hoping that this film would take me back to some of the wonderful places and experiences that I encountered. However, I was bitterly disappointed. Yes, the sets were amazing and the cinematography stunning; but overall, I was left feeling short-changed and empty. Memoirs could have been set anywhere; the lead actresses were obviously not Japanese for a start. The images of Japan were cliché to the point of tacky. The plot was too simple for the extraordinarily long length of the film. Japan is a country of duality; where this film was fluffy and pretty, there was no real grit or harshness to counteract this. The onset of the Second World War achieved a level of crassness that I was almost impressed by. This film does a very poor job of giving any insight into Japan or Japanese culture; it only reinforces the stereotypes we've already cast while depriving us of any form of attention-grabbing plot. All fur coat and no knickers. Miss it.