BEST FILM ADAPTATIONS OF FICTION: CONTINUED (part 2)
The film adaptation of the most popular novel abroad by Haruki Murakami. The Director is the French-Vietnamese Director Chan an hung, who did not distinguish himself in any way before or after “Norwegian forest”. The film was released in 2010. What will immediately please connoisseurs of the canons-the movie was shot in Japan and with Japanese actors. Why then did not pick up a Director from Japan, it is unclear. The film, however, was not harmed by Chang an-hung’s foreign origin.
The plot is not different from the original, the characters are also unchanged: there is Watanabe, the protagonist, a loner and taciturn, is Naoko, the former girlfriend and his best friend, strange and as if not of this world, there is Midori, his girlfriend, vivid, extraordinary, but also with their problems; and then there’s the Attack, a neighbor Watanabe around the room, Kisuke, a friend who will always be 18 years, Reiko, the patient from the sanatorium Naoko, her friend, Nagasawa, mate of the protagonist, a jerk and a cynic, Hatsumi, cute and the right girl Nagasawa. The story, unlike the book, begins not with the plane and memories, but from the inside of the story, which is probably correct and from the Director’s point of view justified by the desire for greater involvement of the viewer in the story.
Watanabe and Stormtrooper
The chronology of the events of the original “Norwegian forest” by Murakami is preserved, but the timing has suffered greatly: the plot actions in the film are very rapid and almost do not leave the viewer a respite to comprehend the entire composition. Many scenes from the original are offensively short and fleeting, time in the film adaptation does not play its roles at all, it feels like someone put the life of the characters on rewind. This haste is definitely not in the book. As an original solution, the acceleration itself does not cause delight, moreover, it will be very difficult (or even impossible) for those who have not read “Norwegian forest” to understand all the nuances of Murakami’s composition. In the book, an impressive load comes from the emotions, the inner state of the characters, which is sometimes simply absent in the film adaptation. And the reason for this is not bad acting, but only a lack of time for it. This is despite the fact that the movie runs for two hours. Should I have added another hour?.. But the Director managed to fit the entire skeleton of the novel on the screen, and as an illustration of it, hung’s work is extremely good. The picture is bright and juicy: this applies to landscapes, close-UPS of actors, and the General construction of the mise EN scene. Almost all the important dialogues are saved, even if they are too tight, sometimes you find yourself wanting to suggest the next line to the character, which then makes you smile, even if the scene is sad.
Reiko, Naoko and Watanabe
There is a big surprise in the music of “Norwegian forest” for an unprepared audience. Contrary to fair expectations, this is not jazz, but slow instrumental themes written by Jonny Greenwood, the lead guitarist of the band Radiohead, which also found a place in the film. The choice of composer is strange, Yes… But the music is appropriate, pleasant, and does not cause dissonance when viewed, although it is not remembered later. In addition to Greenwood’s compositions, the film features the same “Norwegian Wood” performed by Reiko and the credits already include the canonical version of the Beatles.
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Book. I don’t think I can write anything new about this book. A linguistically verified love story, a story of loneliness, responsibility, irreversibility, memory of loved ones, and self-search. A sad, rainy story, in some ways hopeless, in some ways life-affirming. This is the main charm of Murakami’s novels – depending on the point of view, they can be perceived in completely different ways.
The film adaptation appeared twenty-three years after the book was published.
Can I replace reading with watching a movie? To show off your erudition in a nail salon, the film will perfectly replace the book. Otherwise, no. The film adaptation without the original loses a lot due to the inability to identify other cause-and-effect relationships and motivations of the characters in the course of the story. And for Murakami, this is a very important aspect of composition.