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Murakami’s Norwegian Wood adds Rinko Kikuchi & Kenichi Matsuyama
I saw this at /Film, and like them, I had no idea (or perhaps I did and forgot) that Murakami’s Norwegian Wood was being adapted for film, though apparently the news is almost a year old.
Norwegian Wood is not my favorite Murakami novel, indeed I’m not sure if Murakrami is the type of author where you have ‘favorite’ book, his books always continually – for me – tends to try to convince and present their own cases long after I read them. I guess if I had to choose it would be his Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, though the one I find myself recommending most is probably Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Then again I do love Kafka on the Shore . . . see what I mean? At any rate, even for the Murakami reader Norwegian Wood is a bit of a change-up and director Tran Anh Hung is bringing it to film. I’m pretty excited about seeing Rinko Kikuchi cast as Naoko. She was in my mind had the stand-out Babel, which featured several tremendous performances (she’s also in Rian Johnson’s forthcoming Brothers Bloom). Toru, the main character in the novel, is being played by Kenichi Matsuyama who apparently played ‘L’ in Death Note (something I didn’t watch).
This stunning and elegiac novel by the author of the internationally acclaimed Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has sold over 4 million copies in Japan and is now available to American audiences for the first time. It is sure to be a literary event.
Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.
A poignant story of one college student’s romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love.