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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.
- English or Mandarin Subtitles
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
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
Top customer reviews
This film however, couldn't provide the time to devote to each of these characters. For example, one character, Stormtrooper, is shown twice in the film. Once waking up the main character and wanting to exercise with him and then once, examining nose hairs. However in the book, he hands Toru a firefly that he caught in a jar. Toru, feeling situational melancholy, releases the firefly on the roof of the dorms in a scene I simply would have loved to view in the film. Stormtrooper leaves the dorm shortly there after, about the time when Toru is beginning to feel more and more alone. There's also Reiko who, though present in the film, is a very enjoyable character who gets heavily overlooked here. She cracked me up laughing with her dialogue in the book.
Again I don't fault the film, it's always hard to match a book to film and sometimes it isn't the best thing to do. But in all honesty, had I not read the book, I probably would have enjoyed the film more.
Of course, this would be a tall order for any film director, as Murakami is a singularly imaginative and talented writer. But, Norwegian Wood, is one of his most straightforward works - without his typical forays into magical realism and alternate realities. In fact, it is a relatively straightforward coming of age story, relying heavily on the internal struggles of the main characters for the dramatics.
While there were some beautifully composed scenes in this film, many of which were captured in the satisfying trailer for the film, I found the full feature to be slow, a bit boring, and not captivating. If you've read this novel, avoid watching this film - it won't live up to your expectations.