Set in Edo era Japan, “Sakuran” traces the life of Kiyoha (Anna Tsuchiya) as she rises from the lowly courtesan ranks to the high class position of Oiran in the steamy red-light district of Yoshiwara. Kiyoha was determined to stand on her own two feet and live life as she pleased.
Words From Me:
When I first tried to watch this film, I was on my way home riding a plane and was 6,000 feet off the ground. 10 minutes through the film, I started to realize that it was rather a sexually explicit movie. My seatmates by the way were a bunch of old people. I was so embarrassed to find out that the movie I was watching was something not appropriate for the public eye. Ack!
Setting aside my embarrassment, I watched it at home again without any kids or grannies around.
To be honest, this was the first film that I have appreciated Ando Masunobu in. I’ve first seen him in “Synesthezia” with Aoi Miyazaki, but I didn’t like his character there too much. Here in Sakuran I loved the way he acted as Seiji who was the “keeper” or “care-taker” of the Oiran, (the highest ranking female prostitute in the house) which was eventually transferred to Kiyoha (Anna Tsuchiya). I loved the way she played the hot headed TOP Woman. Even though she wasn’t the Oiran yet, she already had the attitude of one. She was spunky and feisty for a woman who lives and breathes the life in a brothel. Though this was her role, her life as an Oiran in the making was bitter and sad, she’s witty and beautiful but was kept in a container, thus her life is compared to a goldfish in a bowl.
The story was manga based, so it had a bit of a shoujou-ish plot line going on. Nonetheless, it was a great movie. The ending was just my taste, the setting was perfect and beautiful, as well was the over all cinematography. Everything was vibrant with hues such as red… red… and more red. I think that color has so much significance for this movie. It makes sense that the bright colors used for the film was very appropriate for its theme. The sound track was fit for the whole movie and it has caught my attention so much that I researched about the singer Shiina Ringo and discovered the band Tokyo Jihen, hence I now have the collection of their songs.
I have already re-watched this Movie several times and would re-watch it again in the future.