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?
Complete Edition Blu-ray includes both the theatrical version and the 150-minute extended version of the film. It comes with extended making of documentaries, stage events, deleted scenes, and a collection of promotional materials.