The Visual vs. the Written
When I read the book, Memoirs of a Geisha, a few months ago, I threatened to watch the movie with the sound off. It was a good call on my part, and I should have done it that way.
If you want to know the story, of this fascinating culture of the Geisha, don't count on the movie. As the book is a work of fiction, I don't know how accurately it portrays this life, but my feeling was that the author had done extensive research. I would never have known what was going on in the movie, had I not already read the book. I felt some of the characters were good, but several were very miscast.
But, I really only wanted to see the Kimonos, and the makeup and the hair and the hair ornaments...and I did get to see some of that in the movie. There were some very lovely scenes, beautifully filmed.
So...the movie served it's purpose for me, although not brilliantly. Once again, I will have to say...read the book.