Norwegian Wood

Wednesday, December 07 th, 2016 at 00:12 am 

Norwegian Wood

JOY REVIEW

Norwegian Wood is based on a novel by Haruki Murakami, obviously Japanese. It’s set in the 1960s when Japanese students, like students every place, were rising against the government. It focuses on one particular young man who’s 19. We find out in flashbacks that his best friend committed suicide, which we actually know at the beginning but don’t understand exactly how or why. The young man falls desperately in love, the way only 19-year-olds can do, with a woman who is beautiful but basically unavailable and, it turns out, has emotional problems of her own. There is also another young woman who is much more wholesome and therefore, of course, much less attractive to the 19-year-old. This is beautifully shot and the actors are all impossibly gorgeous and impossibly thin. It goes very slowly, but if you stick with it for the 133 minutes — that’s nearly two and a half hours — it actually is rather charming. So, I mean in terms of the beauty of it, I would certainly give it five stars, but in terms of entertainment, significantly less than that. But if you stick with it, you’ll like it, and if you happen to speak Japanese, you don’t have to deal with the subtitles. Regardless, it’s probably worth your time. Three stars.

JOY METER