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Norwegian Wood (2010) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Matsuyama Kenichi (Actor) | Murakami Haruki (Author) | Emoto Tokio | Anh Hung Tran (Director)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 5 - 5 out of 10 (2)

YesAsia Editorial Description

After 23 years and millions of copies sold worldwide, Murakami Haruki's landmark novel Norwegian Wood finally hits the big screen with Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung (Scent of the Green Papaya) at the helm. Working with famed Taiwanese cinematographer Lee Ping Bin (In the Mood For Love) and a top-notch design team, Tran creates a visually gorgeous world for his recreation of Japan during the tumultuous 1960s. The film's award-winning cinematography (2010 Asian Film Awards) and hypnotic score (by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood) serve as integral factors in visualizing Murakami's bittersweet tale about death, unrequited love, and sexual awakening.

Previously thought to be impossible for a cinematic adaptation, Murakami himself offered comments on the script during the pre-production process, making this a rare officially approved adaptation of the author's work. Despite the challenging material, Norwegian Wood managed to attract some of Japan's most talented young actors, including Matsuyama Kenichi (Death Note) as protagonist Watanabe, Kikuchi Rinko (Babel) as the fragile Naoko, and model Mizuhara Kiko as the outgoing Midori in an acclaimed film debut. One of the most anticipated films of 2010, the film was given a high-profile spot in the competition section of the Venice Film Festival.

Japan, late 1960s. After the suicide of his best friend Kizuki (Kora Kengo), Watanabe (Matsuyama Kenichi) goes out to Tokyo to attend university. By chance, he reunites with Kizuki's girlfriend Naoko (Kikuchi Rinko) in the city, bringing their dark past to the present. After spending one night together, Naoko suddenly suffers a mental breakdown and retreats to a hospital deep in the forest of Kyoto. While Watanabe continues to pine for the emotionally unstable mess that is Naoko, he also succumbs to the charm of outgoing classmate Midori (Mizuhara Kiko). Who will Watanabe choose in the end - Naoko the past, or Midori the future?

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Technical Information

Product Title: Norwegian Wood (2010) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 挪威的森林 (DVD) (中英文字幕) (香港版) 挪威的森林 (DVD) (中英文字幕) (香港版) ノルウェイの森 Norwegian Wood (2010) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Matsuyama Kenichi (Actor) | Emoto Tokio | Tamayama Tetsuji | Lee Ping Bin | Kikuchi Rinko (Actor) | Kora Kengo | Jonny Greenwood | Mizuhara Kiko (Actor) 松山研一 (Actor) | 柄本時生 | 玉山鐵二 | 李屏賓 | 菊地凜子 (Actor) | 高良健吾 | Jonny Greenwood | 水原希子 (Actor) 松山研一 (Actor) | 柄本时生 | 玉山铁二 | 李屏宾 | 菊地凛子 (Actor) | 高良健吾 | Jonny Greenwood | 水原希子 (Actor) 松山ケンイチ (Actor) | 柄本時生 | 玉山鉄二 | 李屏賓(リー・ピンビン) | 菊地凛子 (Actor) | 高良健吾 | Jonny Greenwood | 水原希子 (Actor) Matsuyama Kenichi (Actor) | Emoto Tokio | Tamayama Tetsuji | Lee Ping Bin | Kikuchi Rinko (Actor) | Kora Kengo | Jonny Greenwood | 미즈하라 키코 (Actor)
Director: Anh Hung Tran 陳英雄 陈英雄 トラン・アン・ユン Anh Hung Tran
Release Date: 2011-07-15
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1, Widescreen
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 134 (mins)
Publisher: Edko Films Ltd. (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1024660693

Product Information

* Special Features:
- Making of
- Theatrical Trailer
- Photos Gallery

Director: Anh Hung Tran

Tokyo, the late 1960s...
Students around the world are uniting to overthrow and Toru Watanabe's personal life is similarly in tumult. At heart, he is deeply devoted to his first love, Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman.

But their complex bond has been forged by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Watanabe lives with the influence of death everywhere.

That is, until Midori, a girl who is everything that Naoko is not - outgoing, vivacious, supremely self-confident - marches into his life and Watanabe must choose between his past and his future.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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Awards

This film has won 1 award(s) and received 2 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Norwegian Wood (2010) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

August 19, 2011

This professional review refers to Norwegian Wood (2010) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
As all supposedly unfilmable novels inevitably seem to, a cinematic Murakami Haruki's Norwegian Wood finally arrived in 2010, some 23 years after its original publication. Given the book's incredible popularity, it's perhaps somewhat of a mystery why no-one decided to take up the challenge before, though the wait seemed to have been worthwhile when it was announced that Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung (Scent of the Green Papaya) would be the brave soul in question, along with acclaimed Taiwanese cinematographer Lee Ping Bin (In the Mood For Love). Despite the obvious narrative difficulties faced by Tran, Murakami himself gave his seal of approval, and apparently stepped in to advise on the script, giving the film a major official boost. With a fine cast of young Japanese talent, headed by Matsuyama Kenichi (Death Note), Kikuchi Rinko (Babel) and model Mizuhara Kiko as the iconic protagonists, the film unsurprisingly enjoyed a high profile run at international festivals, playing in competition at Venice and screening at various other events around the world.

The film's plot is a pretty faithful adaptation of the novel, taking place in 1960s Japan and beginning with a young man called Watanabe (Matsuyama Kenichi) heading to Tokyo to attend university and get over the suicide of his childhood best friend Kizuki. While there, he meets Kizuki's girlfriend Naoko (Kikuchi Rinko), and ends up spending the night with her. Unfortunately, this seems to bring back painful memories for the tortured, unstable girl, and she checks herself into a remote forest sanatorium. Although Watanabe still attempts to build a relationship with Naoko, he also finds himself involved with his lively classmate Midori (Mizuhara Kiko), pushing him towards a life altering choice.

Although bringing Norwegian Wood or indeed any of Murakami Haruki's works to the screen was always going to be a difficult prospect, it's hard to imagine a more fitting choice of director than Tran Anh Hung. The Vietnamese helmer's languid, atmospheric style fits the novel perfectly, managing to nail the bittersweet nostalgia and quiet emotional turmoil far effectively more than might have been expected. As with most of Tran's efforts, the film primarily has the feel of a mood piece, driven by ambiguity and atmosphere rather than narrative. This approach works very well indeed, and whilst the film inevitably does lose some of the book's details and richness, it's impressive just how much of it Tran is able to faithfully retain, especially given its relatively short running time.

To a large extent this is down to some truly gorgeous visuals, which not only bring the book to captivating life, but which are used skilfully to reflect its themes, primarily the conflict in Watanabe's heart that finds him longing for the painful past whilst reaching for a brighter future, symbolised by the two women in his life. Boasting a wholly convincing recreation of the time period, the film switches between vivid colours and pale, bleak compositions during the later stages as Naoko's condition worsens. Cinematographer Lee Ping Bin is on top form, and the film does bear comparison with In the Mood for Love, showing the same kind of melancholic beauty and eye for detail. Through this, Tran is able to successfully evoke an impression of fading memories, the confusion of love, and the ominous presence of death. The soundtrack also plays a vital role in this, with Greenwood's superb ambient score perfectly complimenting the drama.

Given the popularity of the book, the casting was always going to be a key factor. Thankfully, Matsuyama Kenichi does a very serviceable job as the male lead, just about managing to convey inner turmoil and complexity whilst still remaining sympathetic. Although Mizuhara Kiko doesn't have a great deal to do as Midori, with her character being the one most significantly trimmed, Kikuchi Rinko is excellent as Naoko, arguably the film's most important role. As a result, the film does carry a considerable emotional punch, though it's a little too distant and cold to have quite the same impact as Murakami Haruki's multi-layered novel.

Still, this would perhaps have been a little too much to ask for, and Norwegian Wood is certainly the very best adaptation of the book possible. Tran Anh Hung proves to have been an inspired choice of director, and backed by some amazing visuals and laudable efforts from the cast as a whole, the film is by far one of the more complex and mature relationship dramas of recent years, and one which should be enjoyed by Murakami Haruki fans and newcomers alike.

by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com

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This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "Norwegian Wood (2010) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 5 - 5 out of 10 (2)

Hal
See all my reviews


February 9, 2013

This customer review refers to Norwegian Wood (2010) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Amazing film! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Someone reviewed on this site that NORWEGIAN WOOD was a "waste of time" because it was about sadness and depression and the actors didn't smile enough. The single most depressing thing about the film was that review itself. That's like criticizing DIE HARD for having too much action or 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY for having too many shots of outer space and not enough interstellar gun battles. Clearly, the above reviewer has never read the book (or, I'm gonna guess, any Murakami). Nor is that person particularly well-versed in the language of cinema. And they are clearly limited in what content constitutes a good film. Happy=good filmmaking, sad=bad filmmaking. Okay, now that I got that off my chest, this is a startlingly honest film about, yes, depression, among other things. It is also a very faithful adaptation in both tone and spirit. It is moving and haunting, ethereal and solemn. It is also extremely beautiful. It moves like an incredible poem or a stunning piece of music. One of the best films I've seen in years.
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A.
See all my reviews


September 4, 2011

This customer review refers to Norwegian Wood (2010) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Waste Of Time Customer Review Rated Bad 0 - 0 out of 10
I was so excited to see this movie! I heard people say how good it was and I even saw an advertisement on TV! It was THE most depressing movie ever! The whole movie was about sadness and depression and pain. After like the first 2 minutes of people smiling, no one smiled for the rest of the movie! It was so dark and depressing and I just wanted to turn the movie off but i kept saying to myself that it would get better! WRONG! I tried so hard to like the movie but the characters were so impossible to like - all trying to "one-up" another and get ego boosts while putting the others down sexually. I wish I saved my two hours of watching!
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