Norwegian Wood Reviews
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.
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.
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.