Norwegian Wood

January 6th, 2012


Norwegian Wood

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Still of Ken'ichi Matsuyama in Norwegian WoodStill of Rinko Kikuchi in Norwegian WoodStill of Anh Hung Tran in Norwegian WoodStill of Rinko Kikuchi and Ken'ichi Matsuyama in Norwegian Wood

Toru recalls his life in the 1960s, when his friend Kizuki killed himself and he grew close to Naoko, Kizuki's girlfriend, and another woman, the outgoing, lively Midori.

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 6.4/10 (3,284 voted)

Critic's Score: 59/100

Director: Anh Hung Tran

Stars: Ken'ichi Matsuyama, Rinko Kikuchi, Kiko Mizuhara

Upon hearing the song "Norwegian Wood," Toru (Matsuyama) remembers back to his life in the 1960s, when his friend Kizuki killed himself and he grew close to Naoko, Kizuki's girlfriend. As the two try, in very different ways, to contend with their grief, Toru forms a bond with another woman, Midori.

Writers: Haruki Murakami, Anh Hung Tran

Rinko Kikuchi - Naoko
Ken'ichi Matsuyama - Toru Watanabe
Kiko Mizuhara - Midori
Eriko Hatsune - Hatsumi
Tetsuji Tamayama - Nagasawa
Reika Kirishima - Reiko Ishida
Kengo Kôra - Kizuki
Shigesato Itoi - Theatre professor
Tokio Emoto - Storm Trooper
Haruomi Hosono - Record shop owner
Yukihiro Takahashi - Gatekeeper
Takao Handa - Midori' father
Kentaro Tamura -
Yuki Ito -
Yusuke -


Official Website: Official Facebook | Official site |

Release Date: 6 January 2012

Filming Locations: Tokyo, Japan

Opening Weekend: $13,068 (USA) (8 January 2012) (3 Screens)

Gross: $13,068 (USA) (8 January 2012)

Technical Specs


User Review

Movie Version of Norwegian Wood

Rating: 8/10

When I was a university student, one of my close friends told me that novels by Haruki Murakami were good, and recommended me to read them. I was 19 years old then, and it was the first time for me to read "Norwegian Wood." The novel captured my interest, and I have read it again and again since then, and I still read it even now. "Norwegian Wood" is one of my favorite books.

The novel "Norwegian Wood" depicts the university days of the main character, Watanabe Tohru. In the novel, he lives in Tokyo, and goes to university. He likes reading American modern literature. He did not have any friends except for one best friend during his high school days, but the friend killed himself at the age of seventeen. Watanabe has several relationships with women between the age of 18 and 21. Some characters in the novel, other than Watanabe's best friend, have also killed themselves. The novel consists of sex, death, literature, and intelligence.

I went to university, and had some close female friends. In addition, I liked reading classic literature. Furthermore, I did not belong to a sport clubs at university, so the scope of my friendship was limited. In essence, I felt a sense of intimacy with Watanabe while reading the novel. (In fact, I learnt "The Catcher in the Rye" by J. D. Salinger and "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald from Norwegian Wood, and both books were the first English novels which I completed reading in their original language.) Norwegian Wood is an important book for me, so I was glad to hear, 2 to 3 years ago, that the movie version of this novel would be screened. The movie was released about one week ago, and I went to see it today.

Locations shot in the movie were beautiful, and the music sounds good. In particular, I was moved by one scene in which Reiko sang "Norwegian Wood" by the Beatles with a guitar, and Naoko lost her mental stability during Reiko's performance. In addition, the cast members in the movie were also good, especially Mizuhara Kiko, who played Midori, was very cute and vivid.

Since I have read the novel over and over, and remember the whole story in detail, I can go so far as to say that I do not need any explanation for the story in the movie. Because I know the story, I was purely interested in how the film director, Tran Anh Hung, had expressed the novel through the media of a movie.

The movie version of "Norwegian Wood" was not solely a converted version of the novel, but represented its originality and creativity with the help of movie techniques, such as music, voice (cry, laugh, or angry), facial expression, and scenery.

However, it is certain that those who have never read the novel will not enjoy the movie.

(The above comment is forwarded from my blog at


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