Simultaneously gorgeous and forgettable, sentimental and prurient, Rob Marshall's razzle-dazzle adaptation of Arthur Golden's controversial 1997 best-seller is a glitteringly theatrical piece of orientalist kitsch rooted in Western fantasies about Japan's "floating world" — the demimonde of geishas, courtesans and performers who cater to the sensual nature. It opens on a dark and stormy night, as an impoverished fisherman with a dying wife sells his two pubescent daughters to a procurer for an Osaka okiya
— a geisha house. Willful Chiyo (Suzuka Ohgo), who has unusual slate-blue eyes, is accepted, while her older sister is banished to a common brothel. Chiyo be...