Monday, January 02, 2006

Portrait of a Badass: Hatsumomo

Character: Hatsumomo
Actor: Gong Li
Film: Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
Badass Moment: "I shall destroy you."
As I said in my September post Portrait of a Badass: Mitsuko, one fictional female stands head-and-shoulders above all others in the proverbial badass lineup. That woman was kept out of Portrait of a Badass due to the fact that she was a literary figure (not a "movielary" one). But after having seen the onscreen manifestation of Arthur Golden's serpentine geisha brat Hatsumomo in the film adaptation of Memoirs of a Geisha over the New Year's holiday, I can now add her to the list with a clear conscience.
Hatsumomo is a conceited, hard-drinking geisha with an attitude. She has secret trysts even though geisha are meant to be strictly trystless. She steals other geisha's clothes and tags them with graffiti (or, as graffiti were called back in the geisha days, "burners"). She's a firestarter, twisted firestarter.
About the debated decision to cast a bunch of Chinese actresses in a movie about geisha, I say this: Maybe the Japanese actresses who auditioned just weren't badass enough.
FUN FACT: Around the time I was reading Memoirs of a Geisha two years ago, I bought a semi-hollowbody guitar. I was so impressed with the "love to hate" factor of the book's prime antagonist that I decided to name my new guitar Hatsumomo. My other guitar is called Mercedes.
Hatsumomo, you are a movielary badass. We salute you.

1 comment:

Miss Independent said...

it is so true. i'm reading Memoirs right now, and she makes me want to throw something. hard. and hit a wall. and leave a dent.