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Time Out says
Tue Aug 26 2008As the filmmaking debut of a world-class photographer, one rightfully expects ‘Sakuran’ to look stunning. But director Mika Ninagawa’s aesthetic aptitude still manages to impress, crowding the frame with a striking richness of detail, flush with floral prints, shimmering patterns and blocks of warm primary colour. The story struggles for equal impact: in eighteenth-century Japan, a young girl is trained as a courtesan, with all the tradition and ceremony such a position demands.
The characters are likeable but thin and, despite a few raw, persuasive scenes, the script feels emotionally stunted. But the film’s most unforgivable flaw is its soundtrack: another period film aching for that modern touch, ‘Sakuran’ is drowned in jazz piano, digital beats and the unmistakable sound of a young woman passionately strangling her cat.
Author: Tom Huddleston