Norwegian Wood


Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 6.3 10 11162

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 30, 2021 at 04:41 PM



Rinko Kikuchi as Naoko
1.2 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 13 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by moviexclusive 7 / 10

Definitely a commendable visualisation of Murakami's reflective novel, this is a thoughtful piece of work which may not be everyone's cup of tea

Those were the best years of our lives. Every once in a while when the weather gets melancholic, we would reminiscence those years when loss and sexuality meant a whole lot more. Every once in a while when we hear a morose tune on the radio, we would recall those moments when relationships mattered a whole lot more. And every once in a while when we watch a moody film, we would remember those times when life played out like a cinematic feature.

All that remains now is nostalgia.

And that is why, critically acclaimed Japanese writer Haruki Murakami's novels spoke to so many people. His works poignantly captures the spiritual emptiness of the modern generation and explores the loss of human connection in the bustling society we live in today. And just when detractors thought that Murakami's bestselling 1987 novel was un-filmable, along comes Tran Anh Hung, whose past works include the award winning Cyclo (1995) and The Scent of Green Papaya (1993).

Set in Tokyo during the late 1960s, the film's male protagonist is Toru, a quiet and serious college student. He loses his best friend to suicide, and his personal life is thrown into turmoil. He becomes emotionally closer to his friend's ex-girlfriend Naoko, who shares the same sense of loss. Circumstances bring Naoko to a sanatorium, and Toru becomes devastated. Another girl, Midori, enters his life, and he realises that she is everything Naoko isn't. Torn between two women and feeling empty about life's past and future, what ensues is Toru's nostalgic journey of loss and sexuality.

The above synopsis probably doesn't do justice to Murakami's writing, which is known to be humorous and surrealistic. While we haven't read the original novel which this 133 minute film is based on, we have chanced upon Murakami's other works, and we must recognize Tran's decision to adapt the story into a feature film.

The first thing which grabs you is the hypnotically mesmerizing cinematography by the award winning Lee Ping Bin (In the Mood For Love, Three Times). The breathtaking mountainous landscapes of Japan are captured on Lee's lenses like gems. You can imagine yourself wandering through the green grasslands and the snowy grounds, letting the spectacle engulf your senses. To replicate the mood of 1960s, production designers Norifumi Ataka and Yen Khe Luguem have painstakingly created scene after scene of the film's characters journeying through life's alleys against backdrops of intricately decorated cafes, workshops and hostel rooms. The result is a visually pleasing mood piece which displays the director's eye for details. The soundtrack composed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood completes the viewing experience with an enigmatic score.

Also commendable are the cast's performances. Playing Toru is Kenichi Matsuyama (Death Note's "L"). He has an empathetic vulnerability which leaves a lasting impression with viewers. Rinko Kichuki (Babel) displays the much needed frailty of Naoko's character without becoming overly melodramatic, while newcomer Kiko Mizuhara is charming as the charismatic Midori.

Like most literary adaptation, this film loses some of the novel's poignancy when it comes to character and plot development. Emotions are conveyed through convenient voiceovers, and the exploration of sexuality may appear preposterous to those who uninitiated to Murakami's works. Furthermore, the slow and meandering pacing of the two odd hour film may be a test of patience to some.

It will take audiences who are familiar with the postmodern writer's work to appreciate this film. If you are an individual who often indulges in poetic wistfulness, this may just be the perfect film for you on a contemplative evening too.


Reviewed by Apex_P38 9 / 10

For those who have only seen this movie and those who have only read the novel.

First and foremost, I am a Haruki Murakami Fan. So far I have read nine of his novels and still going. Although of me being a fan of his work, Norwegian Wood is NOT one of my all time Murakami favorites despite of having enjoyed reading it (To each his own). In fact after reading it I wondered whether if being named after a Beatles song had maybe something to do with this novel's popularity. Still once I heard it was being made into a movie I had to see it! Before seeing this I had previously seen Tony Takitani which is also a Haruki Murakami short story that was made into a movie, and also enjoyed. So needles to say I am a die hard Murakami fan.

The movie itself was wonderfully filmed. Ping Bin Lee, the cinematographer behind Hou Hsiao-Hsien's movies (Millenium Mambo, Three Times, Café Lumière........) did a stellar job on this film. He shot wonderful strong visual scenes making the scenery, and all other locations look beautiful throughout the movie. Needles to say this movie visually stands out.

The music also sets the tone for this film. Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead was hired to do the score, and although I am familiar with the music from Radiohead (not a big fan though) I could tell it was done by him.

Anh Hung Tran's direction keeps up with his previous film "I Come With The Rain" which in my opinion was quite successfully presented even though it was highly criticize among movie goers. Whether you enjoy his works or not, this guy piques my interest and I will keep an eye out for whatever he makes next. In my opinion he honestly did his best keeping the story true to the novel. Of course there are a few things that he did not get into telling; like Reiko's back story(though was briefly referenced), Watanabe's roommate antics(there were some minor moments though but whole scenes), Nagasawa and Watanabe's escapades were kept to a minimum.......etc. Also the first ten minutes of the film rushes easily through about a third of the novel. It's a movie so not everything from the book will make it on screen. And YES, the ending on the movie is just like on the novel, although the novel describes the underlying Murakami ending which you only get through reading some of his novels, so if you're interested in understanding the "abrupt" ending you might just read the novel just for that (in case you we're put off by it and did not understand what was actually going on on the final scene which there's much more to it). There are also much more that you don't get from watching the movie so you're interested in knowing what wasn't told on screen you might want to read it.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie more than the novel. I still love Haruki Murakami novels. All His works are very straight forward which I always enjoy. Whether your a fan of his works or not watch the film and compare it with the novel. Worth checking out!

Reviewed by webmaster-3017 9 / 10

HK Neo Reviews: Norwegian Wood

Movies like these are rare. They are special – Unique in their own ways. Norwegian Wood is the kind of film that ends better than it starts. If you can get through the first 30 minutes, the film will grow onto you and engage you and eventually immerse into your world. Based on a 1987 award winning novel about the 60s changing social situation in Japan, the film explores the complicated notions of unrequited love, the era of sexual freedom and the loss of innocence. Director Anh Hung Tran paints a beautiful, slow and lingering picture which allows the film to grow onto the audience. At times the film feels like something from Wong Kar Wai and the Beatles title song is fitting. The film ends on a lighter tone and there is one quote that I find worthy to share about loss: "All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning". I am delighted to have gone through this cinematic journey and despite its opening flaws; Norwegian Wood eventually wins the audience's heart…

Neo rates it 9/10.


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