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Norwegian Wood (DVD) (Special Edition) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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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?

Special Edition DVD includes the theatrical version. It comes with extended making of documentaries, stage events, deleted scenes, and a collection of promotional materials.

© 2011-2024 Ltd. All rights reserved. This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Technical Information

Product Title: Norwegian Wood (DVD) (Special Edition) (Japan Version) 挪威的森林 (DVD) (特別版) (日本版) 挪威的森林 (DVD) (特别版) (日本版) ノルウェイの森 スペシャル・エディション Norwegian Wood (DVD) (Special Edition) (Japan Version)
Artist Name(s): Matsuyama Kenichi | Kikuchi Rinko | Mizuhara Kiko | Tamayama Tetsuji | Kirishima Reika | Kora Kengo | Hatsune Eriko | Itoi Shigesato | Lee Ping Bin | Jonny Greenwood | Hosono Haruomi | Emoto Tokio 松山研一 | 菊地凜子 | 水原希子 | 玉山鐵二 | 霧島麗香 | 高良健吾 | 初音映莉子 | Itoi Shigesato | 李屏賓 | Jonny Greenwood | 細野晴臣 | 柄本時生 松山研一 | 菊地凛子 | 水原希子 | 玉山铁二 | 雾岛丽香 | 高良健吾 | 初音映莉子 | Itoi Shigesato | 李屏宾 | Jonny Greenwood | 细野晴臣 | 柄本时生 松山ケンイチ | 菊地凛子 | 水原希子 | 玉山鉄二 | 霧島れいか | 高良健吾 | 初音映莉子 | 糸井重里 | 李屏賓(リー・ピンビン) | Jonny Greenwood | 細野晴臣 | 柄本時生 Matsuyama Kenichi | Kikuchi Rinko | 미즈하라 키코 | Tamayama Tetsuji | Kirishima Reika | Kora Kengo | Hatsune Eriko | Itoi Shigesato | Lee Ping Bin | Jonny Greenwood | Hosono Haruomi | Emoto Tokio
Director: Anh Hung Tran 陳英雄 陈英雄 トラン・アン・ユン Anh Hung Tran
Release Date: 2011-06-22
Publisher Product Code: JDD-80153
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: Japanese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Publisher: Asmik
Other Information: 2DVDs
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1024273490

Product Information

[アーティスト/ キャスト]
松山ケンイチ / 菊地凛子 / 水原希子 / トラン・アン・ユン (監督、脚本) / 村上春樹 (原作) / ジョニー・グリーンウッド (音楽)



製作国 : 日本 (Japan)
公開年 : 2010



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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Norwegian Wood (DVD) (Special Edition) (Japan 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 -

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

Customer Review of "Norwegian Wood (DVD) (Special Edition) (Japan Version)"

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

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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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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