Watched Jul 06, 2012
Ronan Doyle’s review:
Tran Anh Hung’s adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s breakthrough novel has both the courage and the sense to not just act out the story on screen, but to translate it to cinematic language, filtering Murakami’s much-beloved prose and entrusting the bulk of the narrative’s emotional engagement to Tran’s imagery. Spectacular imagery it is too, Tran’s use of snowfall in his landscapes calling to mind the work of Park Chan-Wook in the Vengeance Trilogy. The story of a young man torn between two loves in 1960s Japan, Norwegian Wood is a powerfully immersive capturing of an adolescent mindframe, beautifully rendered in the performances of its three leads. There is an overwhelming lugubriousness to the idea of reaching 20 that seems almost to paralyse them; it is, in essence, the first fleeting glimpses of mortality and the truth of life. Embittered yet joyous, pained yet passionate, Tran’s is a film of visual lyricism, a magnificent screen rendition of a truly great tale.