Happy Easter everyone! I haven’t done anything festive today, not even eating chocolate eggs, which we all know is the most important part of Easter. I have however finally gotten round to watching Norwegian Wood, the film adaptation of the Murakami book. I’ve waited to do the book review until I saw the movie, so I could talk about both at the same time. Two birds, one stone, that sort of thing. Enough blabbing, on to the review.
Did I like the book? Yes, very much so.
The book starts when Watanabe’s friend Kizuki kills himself. Watanabe then runs away to Tokyo to put the whole affair behind him, but then runs into Kizuki’s girlfriend Naoko. The book follows their friendship that turns into more and the problems Naoko has because she can’t cope with the death of Kizuki. Later in the book Watanabe also meets a quirky, slightly strange and sex-obsessed girl called Midori, who also gets to play an important role in his life.
To describe the plot in general without giving away to much information I would say it is the tale of a young man who gets pulled into a sort of ‘star-crossed lovers’ situation that isn’t his to deal with. He eventually has to chose between lingering in the past or picking up the pieces and move on. I think the story itself is beautiful, although not much really ‘happens’. In this book the melancholic atmosphere is what makes it worth reading in my opinion. To people who like upbeat happy stories: don’t get anywhere near this book, it can get quite depressing at times. The ending is sad and sweet at the same time, it did leave me with a ‘happyIvereadthisbook’ feeling.
Did I like the film? Yes and no, I’m still not entirely sure.
It felt as if the people who were making the movie wanted to tell one part of the story and rushed through everything else. When I was watching it I was under the impression that the first hour the film fast-forwarded through the first half of the book and then someone pressed the play button to tell the story in the proper pace. Story aside, I think the film was aesthetically very beautiful. The filmmakers succeeded in visualizing the heavy atmosphere that makes the book so great (at least in the second half). The music, even though annoying at some times, also helped to set the ambiance. The film ended very predictably with Norwegian Wood by The Beatles, which plays a guest role in both film and book, but I loved it nonetheless.
I will now shamelessly do the same, goodbye!