The movie somehow does not manage to highlight all that. It comes down to the love story of Sayuri and the Chairman. It is undeniably correct wrt the book, but misses out the essence of it. The author had introduced the Chairman for the sake of a string on which to tie the beads of the story, but the movie makes the thread too important and fat for the beads to stay on. The subtle politics, the importance of the bid, the arts of Geishas and enmity between Mameha and Hatsumomo are belittled as compared to their rivals from the book. The basic character of Sayuri remains skeletal, not the woman we learn to hope for in the book.
After having read the book ages ago, I still remember the nuances. After having waited for the movie for so long, I will remember the photography and the good cast. But not a movie Ill recommend. Go read the book, I say.
Alas, not for the first time, the book outdoes the movie...not that I mind ;)