This week I’m reviewing Norwegian Wood because I went to see it at the movies recently. This review may contain spoilers if you haven’t read the book but don’t worry about that. You are better off just reading my review than wasting your money actually watching this film.
What goes through a film maker’s mind sometimes? What makes someone think “I’m going to make this film and I want it to suck as much as possible… then I’m going to add in extra suck, because you can never have enough suck in a film”? Because seriously, you could not make a film that sucked this much by accident.
I was going to leave halfway through the film because I was so freaken bored, but instead I took a little nap. That’s kind of like leaving without actually having to make the effort. I don’t think I missed much.
This is the basic story (which is pretty much the same as the book) – boy meets girl who is going out with his best friend (cue: Jessie’s girl), best friend tops himself, boy meets girl again when they are uni, boy has sex with girl, girl goes batshit and gets locked in the (very swisho) loony bin, boy mets other girl but still goes to visit first girl for loony bin booty calls. First girl tops herself. Boy sleeps with her loony girl roomie then goes back to second girl.
The difference between the movie and the book is that the book has all kinds of interesting side plots and meanderings and quirky characters. The film doesn’t. Instead it’s ‘let’s take everything good out of this story and just put in more angst, more staring off in to the mid distance with rainy windows and fish. Yeah, that’s what the folks want – more angst.’
There is one subplot/minor character thing left in and that is with the annoying uni friend. If you’ve read the book, you will know what I mean. The older guy who is a real player. Why leave this in and not the bit with Stormtrooper and the fire flies or other awesome bits? Why?
Arggh I thought I’d have language difficulties with this film because it’s in Japanese but I thought wrong. I made the mistaken assumption that there would be dialogue worth listening to. But no, all they did was walk (through very pretty scenery) then have sex then the main female character, Naoko, would go bat shit (again) then the main male character, Watanabe, would stare out the rainy windows yet again then do some hard, physical labour (those bits were actually quite good) then go visit his other girlfriend, Midori.
Seriously dude, if your girlfriend goes bat shit every time you have sex, wouldn’t you think not to have sex with her. Which brings me to another point – Watanabe is a total root rat. He actually is in the book too but it’s not such an issue – maybe because in the book he’s a sympathetic character so you don’t mind so much. In the movie, it’s like ‘hey Watanabe, put it away already’. Young, dumb and full of cum doesn’t make for an interesting lead character. Well maybe it does, but not when you team it with arty and wistful.
My summary -
Ken'ichi Matsuyama as Watanabe => annoying and not as hot as he could have been. Should have taken his shirt off during those scenes of hard physical labour.
Rinko Kikuchi as Naoko => about as annoying as you could possibly get. I wanted to punch her in the face especially when she was doing the extreme wailing of bat shitted-ness. Just kill yourself already.
Kiko Mizuhara as Midori => I didn’t hate her.
Best bit of the film => the trailer for the Gantz movie before it started.