Norwegian Wood (2010)- Anh Hung Tran
Verdict: Watch it!
Based on Haruki Murakami’s well-known novel of the same name, Norwegian Wood is on one level a coming of age story that follows college aged Toru as he learns about humanity, love, and relationships. But don’t be fooled by my description. This is not just a love story. At another level, Norwegian Wood is really a story about life and death.
Director Anh Hung Tran manages to capture so much of the novel with real passion and reverence: the dialogue is often directly taken from the novel, as is the narration, and the plot contains only minor differences from the novel outside of obvious cuts for time. Johnny Greenwood captures the thematic drama exceptionally well too, and his work is extremely well balanced with the cinematography. The actresses and actors are all extremely well cast as well. It is really hard to pick a favorite of the three leads.
Please don’t miss out on this story. Yes, there’s sex in it. So if you have qualms with that sort of thing, you wont have your mind changed here (though the sex was really tame for how often it occurs). But my point is that I can’t more highly recommend a story to anyone. Obviously, read the novel if you had to pick between it or the film. But if you don’t like to read, or feel you dont have the time to read, see the movie. This is a beautiful film that captures the soul of the novel very well, and is worth anyone’s time. Watch it!