Norwegian Wood

Director: Tran Anh Hung
Year Released: 2010
Rating: 1.0

Or, Japanese people sure like to fuck, mope and kill themselves. Lackluster adaptation of Haruki Murakami's novel follows the relationship between Watanabe (Ken'ichi Matsuyama) and Naoko (Rinko Kikuchi) over the years, and how the two 'bond' following the suicide of their mutual friend Kizuki (Kengo Kôra). Though it's well established how popular the book is in Japan, this screen version is muted and shallow, as Watanabe trudges through scene after scene, sad and isolated, while women (inexplicably) flock to him and his less-than-magnetic charm. It probably plays better on the page, although I confess that I haven't read enough of Murakami's books to take a position on his talents (and what I have read by him didn't strike me as being particularly remarkable).