Norwegian Wood - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Norwegian Wood Reviews

Page 1 of 23
October 8, 2017
A good book can't necessarily be turned into a good film, and Norwegian Wood is surely one of them for alienating its audience.
July 27, 2017
While the plot is pretty straightforward, there is a lot of missed chances and nostalgia in the movie. Very beautifully shot.
April 16, 2017
I enjoyed the film but after loving the book, I found it overall disappointing. The film doesn't explore the relationship between Toru and Midori in enough depth and also leaves behind the key role of Reiko. I also thought Toru was portrayed as much less upbeat and optimistic than in the first half of the book at least. It's not clear at all that Toru was on the verge of choosing Midori over Naoko: in the film, it feels like he's ended up with Midori because Naoko dies. That's not the case in the book. One positive was the portrayal of the relationship between Naoko and Toru which was conveyed to a high degree of detail and poignancy.
½ March 4, 2017
After reading the original novel, watching this film made it clear to me that there are stories that should stay as they were created, like stories. With good visuals and harmonic cinematography, "Norwegian Wood" offers nothing more. The story is not very fluent and its narrative is even quite horrific, although it very well shapes the context of Japan at the time and supposedly enters the minds of young people, this excessively long plot is too slow and silly to be enjoyed if you want to. Indeed, it is quite dull and flat. It is okay for the subject to turn into the supposed love, sacrifice and sexual awakening, but everything is kept on a very superficial level, it is exhausting and has a very little enthusiasm in which the darkness of the film simply emptied even more the non-interesting messages and performances of its characters. 48/100
February 7, 2017
This is a film about love, loss, sex, and death. I wouldn't call it an enjoyable film to watch, but it has an important message.

It is a beautiful film visually, although the soundtrack does let the visuals down somewhat in my opinion. It's a film that should be seen once. Personally, I probably won't be seeing it a second time.
November 10, 2016
Japanese language with subtitles
Director \ Writer Anh Hung Tran
Its a good film but I feel it is overloaded with experience for the young protagonists. The entire film is based on two characters aged 19 and 20. And yet all the things they experience emotionally is way beyond that age band. Its like an older author expressing perfectly valid, shitty, end of life experiences and projecting them on to a young couple.

There is no nudity (maybe a bit) but the sexual dialogue is gripping, you would never hear this dialogue in a standard Hollywood film - and that is refreshing because of the human honesty of sex. "Why did I not get wet with him? But I do with you?" and much more.

The film starts with a life time three-friend group, two male friends and a common female friend. Then one male friend commits suicide. We are left with two deeply traumatised people. One - the bloke, tries to be as normal as possible - he is a thoroughly decent guy, but the girl falls apart.

Towards the end I felt sorry for him - he's a normal bloke wanting sex but he gets these perverse choices - what if you are not into dom, infidelity, mental breakdown?

Very interesting film.
November 4, 2016
Slow paced film following a guy that feels rather country hanging with one girl feeling rather down and rock and roll once and another girl hanging with him feeling up and rather rock and roll all the time. The film is a bit trippy with pleasant music. Seems to be about the angst of growing adult. And the temptation of rock and roll. Rock and roll being a relief from the angst of growing adult and closer to death I suppose. The film is some sort of beauty, a beautiful pain that wants to linger and take some away. The survivors are into rock and roll. Some sign of psychopathy amongst the characters that would explain much..
November 4, 2016
Slow paced film following a guy that feels rather country hanging with one girl feeling rather down and rock and roll once and another girl hanging with him feeling up and rather rock and roll all the time. The film is a bit trippy with pleasant music. Seems to be about the angst of growing adult. And the temptation of rock and roll. Rock and roll being a relief from the angst of growing adult and closer to death I suppose. The film is some sort of beauty, a beautiful pain that wants to linger and take some away. The survivors are into rock and roll. Some sign of psychopathy amongst the characters that would explain much..
July 24, 2016
soliden film po knigata na Haruki Murakami...i da, naslovot e po pesnata na The Beatles, ako se prasuvate...
½ June 1, 2016
By removing the aching empathy we have towards each of Murakami's characters, this adaption is no more than a skim-read of a novel that deserved a genuine recital.

The films story is squashed together in broken clippings and lacks the woven story telling and character depth that Murakami (by contrast) delivers in waves.
The portrayal of Reiko in the film was also especially disappointing for me, as well as the omission of her own story altogether. I can only assume this was ruled as nothing more than unnecessary conjecture by Tran; in a adaption where only the headlines survived the edit.

The film is only saved by the quality of the acting and the beautiful cinematography throughout. Unfortunately for Tran, by having us watch this tale with our eyes rather than our minds, we were always destined to absorb only a fraction of what Murakami allowed our imaginations to see.
December 8, 2015
This was good but could have been so much better. Rather than waste time on all the Naoko flashbacks, more time should have been spent showing the relationships with Midori and Reiko, the latter of which is necessary to give meaning to the final Reiko scenes. The Reiko scenes at the end were unnnecessarily clumsy. It did capture the feel of the book though.
July 25, 2015
The Norwegian Wood film adaptation didn't capture the essence of the book enough to be even be close to okay. It was terrible. I think they did a good job in putting names with faces but everything else was horrible. Lots of the things in the book that put the experiences of characters set in stone was butchered and not cleanly either. I understand it is diffcult to put such a great literary work into a movie but I wish that they put a lot more effort into it. I do also understand that in movies, a lot of things has to be rewritten but I wish they did it in a manner that they changed small details, nothing that takes away from the important scenes in the book because I find that not enough of the important scenes were used and the unimportant scenes were. A lot of the important conversations didn't happen and a lot of the scenes were wrong; completely and utterly wrong. Like Naoko and Watanabe's sexual encounters, the complete obliteration of the scene where Reiko and Watanabe give Naoko their own version of her funeral, and the other experiences that Watanabe had to go through to get where he got to in the end. I became attached to Reiko while reading the book and I was really disappointed of her character being completely cast aside. She was really important in character development in the book and something the directors, or who ever was in charged, could have used to their advantage. It was a missed opportunity in not using her. I hope that there's a complete redo of this movie in the future because it gives the book no justification whatsoever and I also hope that the redo of this movie gives absolutely no fucks in its time length because that's what this book demands. For such a book to be dubbed as a book "everyone's read" in Japan, you would think that they would have tried a little harder. So if this movie is in your watch list, cross it off, especially if your are an individual who read and fell in love with the book, I give it -10/5. It's really that bad. Don't waste your time.
½ July 2, 2015
Norwegian Wood is by all accounts a beautiful film, with amazing cinematography, music, and some incredibly strong acting from its undeniably talented cast, which always make it a compelling watch on a sensory level. However, the film has moments where its slower pace makes the picture drag on, and it feels that more than a little of the connective tissue that made the novel this film is based upon a sensation. A well made film ultimately undone by how it tells it's story, I would recommend everyone check it out for themselves to get an opinion.
June 29, 2015
Without myself having any connection to the novel, this film is exhaustingly somber and tense in ways that distract and enhance, the best and most trying among them Jonny Greenwood's curdling score, which, narrative forgotten, carries something in cinematographer Ping Bin Lee's wide images that's at the very least haunting.
½ April 15, 2015
Either I'm much more of an optimist than I thought, or this is this is the most depressing adaptation of a book I've ever seen. The book was about hope and honesty and caring and the movie was about dull, dramatic idiots. I hated it lol.
½ April 1, 2015
beautiful, melancholic but very long-winded...
½ January 2, 2015
Norwegian Wood is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. I think you could mute it and still enjoy watching the amazing cinematography. Compared to Murakami 's novel, this adaptation is much darker and more understated, with not as much emphasis on character development. The movie can almost be viewed as a separate entity from the book entirely. If you go into this movie expecting the first person style rapport with the narrator, Watanabe, you will be disappointed. But this movie works in its own way, capturing feelings of grief, lust, and despair beautifully.
½ September 30, 2014
As close as a movie could come to doing this book justice. You can clearly feel the depths of Murakami throughout this one.
August 20, 2014
I really wanted to love this movie; I really wanted to like it a lot more than I did. There are elements of this film that I think are brilliant, profound, and heartbreaking, and yet there are several factors that keep this film from being truely great. Norweigian wood is the tale of a boy and a girl who share a tragic past whom meet up again and quickly fall in love. The film examines subjects such as love, sex, and grief, and there are big emotions to be had through the exploration. But I don't think the film is nearly as insightful into these subjects as it thinks it is or wants to be. The same could be said of the characters. Norwegian Wood in very well acted all-around, and the actors give real feeling to their romance, but the film often fails to fully develop its characters and their relationships. Instead of building the relationship between the two leads, the film just tosses them together. It never lets us get to know who these people are, and I often felt that I wanted to know more about them than I did. As a result we are only barely invested in the two leads based on the actor's performances, which is not enough. Overall the film is beautiful shot and has a poignant and moving story, but it's many flaws keep it a good film when it deserved to be a great one.
August 7, 2014
I really wanted to love this movie; I really wanted to like it a lot more than I did. There are elements of this film that I think are brilliant, profound, and heartbreaking, and yet there are several factors that keep this film from being truely great. Norweigian wood is the tale of a boy and a girl who share a tragic past whom meet up again and quickly fall in love. The film examines subjects such as love, sex, and grief, and there are big emotions to be had through the exploration. But I don't think the film is nearly as insightful into these subjects as it thinks it is or wants to be. The same could be said of the characters. Norwegian Wood in very well acted all-around, and the actors give real feeling to their romance, but the film often fails to fully develop its characters and their relationships. Instead of building the relationship between the two leads, the film just tosses them together. It never lets us get to know who these people are, and I often felt that I wanted to know more about them than I did. As a result we are only barely invested in the two leads based on the actor's performances, which is not enough. Overall the film is beautiful shot and has a poignant and moving story, but it's many flaws keep it a good film when it deserved to be a great one.
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