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Norwegian Wood (2010)

Rinko Kikuchi , Ken'ichi Matsuyama , Tran Anh Hung  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Rinko Kikuchi, Ken'ichi Matsuyama, Kiko Mizuhara
  • Directors: Tran Anh Hung
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Flatiron Film Company
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2012
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006QVRWEO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,074 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A wonderful, passionate, well-nigh unforgettable adaptation of a great novel --Salon.com

The movie s cinematography... paints each frame in rapture. --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Product Description

Product Description

Based on the best-selling coming-of-age novel by world-renowned author Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles), this lush, gorgeously photographed adaptation features an original score by Grammy®-winner Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood) of Radiohead.

Tokyo, the late 1960s... Students around the world are uniting to overthrow the establishment and Toru Watanabe's personal life is similarly in tumult. At heart, he is deeply devoted to his first love, Naoko (Rinko Kikuchi), a beautiful and introspective young woman. But their complex bond has been forged by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Watanabe lives with the influence of death everywhere. That is, until Midori, a girl who is everything that Naoko is not outgoing, vivacious, supremely self-confident marches into his life and Watanabe must choose between his past and his future.

Special Features

  • English or Mandarin Subtitles
  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By Lin707
Format:DVD
Apparently this is based on a super famous novel. I haven't read it. I'm actually a fan of the director Anh Hung Tran (Scent of Green Papaya). Anyway, I bought this DVD/CD set with no real expectations since I hadn't really heard anything about it and was blown away. The story is amazing, and the combination of the hypnotically mesmerizing cinematography and breathtaking mountainous landscapes with commendable cast performances put the film over the top. This is a movie about life, and relationships, but is done with cinematic flair rarely seen. The soundtrack adds to the experience, and its a nice touch that the original movie soundtrack comes in this set separately. It has some amazing pieces on it. This DVD plays just fine here in the USA.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Bringing Haruki Murakami's complex and haunting novel "Norwegian Wood" to the screen was probably not an easy task. The book's success had as much to do with (if not more) the poetry of the prose, the creation of a mood. Stylistically, it's a movie that arrives with great expectations. I'm pleased to say that Tran Ahn Hung's melancholy interpretation captures much of the feel of the book and is visually arresting. It is really quite beautiful. Despite its strengths, however, it may not be entirely successful as a stand-alone work. The movie alternately feels intimate AND aloof, filled with passion AND dry in the telling. Every time I felt disconnected with the characters, a moment of brilliance would sweep me back into the story. And every time I was wholeheartedly invested, the narrative reverted to a chilly detachment. In many ways, I'll say that admired "Norwegian Wood" more than I loved it. But it is still a recommendation for what it does well, it does very very well.

At heart, "Norwegian Wood" is a study of loss, coping, and survival. Its characters are irrevocably affected by death and the movie seems to be a lyrical dance with sadness and impending despair. Set in Tokyo of the 1960s, we meet a young man who has escaped his small town existence. He meets a fragile young woman he hasn't seen for years. She was the girlfriend of his best childhood buddy, and the two share an intimacy due to that character's suicide years before. As he tries to navigate his journey into adulthood (his college roommate is a huge influence) he is torn between his current life with new relationships and the troubled girl with whom he shares a past. By commingling themes of death and sex, the screenplay is filled with raw emotion and candor.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Bringing Haruki Murakami's complex and haunting novel "Norwegian Wood" to the screen was probably not an easy task. The book's success had as much to do with (if not more) the poetry of the prose, the creation of a mood. Stylistically, it's a movie that arrives with great expectations. I'm pleased to say that Tran Ahn Hung's melancholy interpretation captures much of the feel of the book and is visually arresting. It is really quite beautiful. Despite its strengths, however, it may not be entirely successful as a stand-alone work. The movie alternately feels intimate AND aloof, filled with passion AND dry in the telling. Every time I felt disconnected with the characters, a moment of brilliance would sweep me back into the story. And every time I was wholeheartedly invested, the narrative reverted to a chilly detachment. In many ways, I'll say that admired "Norwegian Wood" more than I loved it. But it is still a recommendation for what it does well, it does very very well.

At heart, "Norwegian Wood" is a study of loss, coping, and survival. Its characters are irrevocably affected by death and the movie seems to be a lyrical dance with sadness and impending despair. Set in Tokyo of the 1960s, we meet a young man who has escaped his small town existence. He meets a fragile young woman he hasn't seen for years. She was the girlfriend of his best childhood buddy, and the two share an intimacy due to that character's suicide years before. As he tries to navigate his journey into adulthood (his college roommate is a huge influence) he is torn between his current life with new relationships and the troubled girl with whom he shares a past. By commingling themes of death and sex, the screenplay is filled with raw emotion and candor.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, sad. April 11, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting study of a young man who is entangled in the unhappiness of others. Due to loyalty to his friends, he almost forgoes any chance for his own happiness. It is well worth watching and the music (somewhat quirky, which is not unusual for an Anh Hung Tran film) and cinematography are excellent. However, you may have to watch this alone if you need the subtitles, or don't have a friend that likes dark movies. I would have given it 4 1/2 stars if I was able. It is not a perfect movie although it it very good. It is probably the best movie I have seen recently and is by far better than anything from Hollywood.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing September 12, 2012
By Maya
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Let me start out first by saying I am a HUGE fan of Haruki Murakami. I have read pretty much all of his translated works and even one in Japanese.

Maybe for a non-fan, this is a good movie. I don't know. But as a huge fan of his works and of Norwegian Wood in particular, I found this movie to be flat and utterly disappointing. Murakami's Norwegian Wood is a poignant, dreamy work full of subtleties. The emotions he wrote of so vividly were not captured in the film. In addition, Murakami's prose is smooth and flowing, and his masterful rendering of each scene is something to be enjoyed. Instead, the movie is choppy, awkward and abrupt with stilted, forceful acting.

In addition, at risk of sounding like some sort of sex fiend, the sexuality of this movie was not compelling AT ALL. One thing Norwegian Wood is known for is its eroticism and frankly the sex/sexual tension in this movie was utterly boring.

All in all, aside from having characters of the same name who do vaguely the same things as the book, this movie was nothing like Murakami's masterpiece. I was so so excited for this movie but I just couldn't like it at all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars With No Preconceived Expectations
Film was poignant and affecting. One perspective on life & death in a foreign land.
Published 1 month ago by Travelr93
4.0 out of 5 stars Love and loss are the principal themes of this sensitive ...
One of my favorites movies of all time. Love and loss are the principal themes of this sensitive an exquisite rendition based in the novel of Haruki Murakami.
Published 1 month ago by mirta kozolchyk
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
Japanese movie that takes place in the 60s. The movie seemed so promising but it lacked depth. Toru’s best friend commits suicide (we don’t know why) and he is devastated but moves... Read more
Published 6 months ago by ConcupusAl
5.0 out of 5 stars Moody, dark, enjoyable
After reading 'The Wind Up Bird Chronicle' and 'Kafka on the Shore,' I was curious about Murakami's first novel and thus this movie. It was very enjoyable, if dark and moody. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Genevieve Mathis
3.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, just can't live up to the book.
Good movie, just can't live up to the book. If you liked the movie, you will love the book. Buy the book.
Published 7 months ago by Justin
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it, didn't love it
I liked it a lot. Just getting back from Japan it was an interesting movie to watch. Very beautiful, well staged, entertaining. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Deborah G. Seidman
3.0 out of 5 stars A great start and a disappointing end
I have a love/hate relationship with this movie which splits it neatly in half, I loved the first half and hated the second. Read more
Published 12 months ago by crunch
4.0 out of 5 stars Kind of like Lifetime movie
Film keeps you focused on how some persons have a hard time dealing with death and some never get over it. To be fair, it is an interesting film which keeps the viewer interested. Read more
Published 14 months ago by T
1.0 out of 5 stars A disservice to a great author...
What a terrible shame!

As a huge fan of Murakami I was really looking forward to a film version of his seminal work. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Eliza Chang
4.0 out of 5 stars IMPORTED FROM JAPAN
I got the movie that i wanted in the time they promised. I cannot complain. I like the story and already read the book.
Published 15 months ago by Francisco Canales
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