Norwegian Wood (2010)


Norwegian Wood – Tran Anh Hung

Noruwei no mori (original title)

Summary:  The Beatles’ song ‘Norwegian Wood’ reminds Toru (Ken’ichi Matsuyama) of his life in Tokyo back in the 1960’s and when his best friend Kizuki (Kengo Kora) committed suicide.  He carries and shares the same burden of the loss as his friend’s now ex-girlfriend, Naoko (Rinko Kikuchi).  The two become emotionally closer since the death, as both are uncertain how to deal with such grief.  During this time Toro also meets another woman, Midori (Kiko Mizuhara), who does not carry the heavy psychological troubles Naoko has now developed because of what’s happenend, which potentially begins to affect Toru too.  He tries not to attach himself to these thoughts as he rides out his journey of maturity and sexuality, in hopes Naoko can do this too.

My Review:  No doubt a deeply saddening narrative, which is set in contrast with the peace and energy of the decade what we know as the sixties.  Even if the story is too much for you to handle, you will not be able to deny the outstanding shots and scenery captured of Japan.  Incredible and beautiful cinematography, to what I believe, must be a good transition from Haruki Murakami’s novel (forgive me I haven’t read it!) really shines on throughout the film.  Like how a song, or a film, can make you slip into that time or memory you had with another person, making you recollect feelings you haven’t thought upon for a while, is how on hearing ‘Norwegian Wood’ will make Toru reminisce and how the same song will now makes me recall this film, and the feelings it echoes.

Rating:  3.5/5

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