YI JIAN’s review published on Letterboxd:
No possessions and no attachments, as if an abandoned barn just sitting there waiting to be burned, then evaporate up into the night as smoke, to dissipate into the air -- what absolute freedom! Float, float out of her dark, musty well, which he says he does not remember, foolish boy, if only you would look up just for once, see that your own view of the sky is also bounded, had she not mentioned -- that the sun only shines into her room once per day? She shed tears for the sun, knowing that it is not forever, because she had seen it melt into the sky, disappeared; he does not have the desire to escape, for he does not even know that he is trapped, went asking around for the well, foolish boy, try to listen more carefully. "I'm into barn burning", he took it literally, now he's running aroung looking for burning barns, inspecting the horizon for smoke that will never come, more curious, more driven than ever, for his sole experience with 'burning' was the heavy sensation on his chest, when the thing he considered most important to him was taken away, right in front of his eyes.
[slow dancing intermission]
Murakami's words brought to life, not just this particular short story, it felt like his entire bibliography was condensed into one motion picture, I was reminded of lieutenant mamiya and his torment, may kasahara and her letters, I'm grateful for this, what a beautiful film.