Norwegian Wood (2010) - Movie Review

Monday, July 30, 2018

poster for Norwegian Wood (2010)

Toru recalls his life in the 1960s, when his friend Kizuki killed himself and he grew close to Naoko, Kizuki's girlfriend, and another woman, the outgoing, lively Midori.(IMDB)

Rating: NR
Runtime: 2 hours 13 minutes
Genre(s): Drama, Romance
Released: December 11, 2010
Directed by: Anh Hung Tran
Written by: Anh Hung Tran, Haruki Murakami (based on book by)
Starring: Ken'ichi Matsuyama, Rinko Kikuchi, Kiko Mizuhara

This review contains minor spoilers. 

This film adaptation left me with mixed feelings. For the most part, it stuck with the story told in the book. What bothered me the most though, was how much it left out. This movie is over two hours long and instead of using that time to focus on the connection between Toru and Naoko (and Reiko), the majority of it was wasted on "filler" moments and the sex aspects of the story. Storm Trooper was almost completely eliminated and pretty much just shows up as a cameo for those who read the book. Reiko's role was shrunk immensely until the final part of the story. This film sucked out all of the emotion and heart from the book.

As for the actors/actresses, I think they did a great job. The majority of the cast looked pretty much how I envisioned them while reading the book (especially Storm Trooper), with the exception of Kiko Mizuhara as Midori. Her performance is good, it was just one of those cases where a. the actor does not meet the visual I had in my head and b. I associate the actor with another character too strongly and it is distracting. Overall, if you love the book, I would say skip the film. If you haven't read the book might like it, but I'm willing to bet you would like the book better anyway.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 5.5/10

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