I finally managed to see the movie version of Norwegian Wood. Definitely, I was disappointed by the director’s interpretation in how he ended up cutting numerous parts and emphasizing the sex aspects over some of the more critical dialog or introspective parts. But I have to say that the general look and feeling of the money were quite nice and gave me somewhat of a feeling of the 60’s Japan, something I had a difficult time imagining just from reading the book.
I suppose unlike many of Murakami’s novels, Norwegian Wood probably is the closest that I felt very personal. Obviously, the main character’s name is Watanabe, just like myself. However, there are so many aspects of his character that I strongly feel resemble my own life. For instance, Watanabe studies literature much like myself. Also, he’s very concise and straight forward, maybe to a fault. He presents himself more of an introspective observer and at times hesitates in making the correct move at the proper time.
While I do not have the tragic best male friend who commits suicide, I feel as though I had my Naoko in the past. My Naoko was someone I prefer to call “Crazy” because she used to drive me insane and broke my heart on numerous occasions. I think this book was somewhat therapeutic for me as it made me realize that holding on to someone who was hopelessly lost only would continue to hurt me. Eventually, I had to let go.
Right now, I am seeking my Reiko and Midori. For Watanabe-kun, Reiko represented a cathartic point in their sexual intercourse. Each orgasm with her symbolized the various relationship failures Watanabe-kun had in the novel. However, his release might’ve helped clear his mind in helping him to recognize Midori as the one true positive element in his life.
For myself, Midori seems like she’s everywhere. There are many women I would like to call my Midori, but pinpointing the exact person is something I’m having trouble dealing with. The character of Midori is described as energetic, positive and aggressive. Her character represents progress for both Watanabe-kun and Murakami in suggesting to Japan to “move forward.” In my case, I know two people in particular that resemble Midori’s attitude. Hopefully, when I approach either of them, they’ll reciprocate my sentiments.
Beyond that, I think the clear message for myself that Murakami’s novel attempted to state was “Take the world!” There’s too much baggage from my past that I must slowly let go. Or maybe let go faster because there’s too many opportunities right in front of my eyes that I’m missing. I’m certain other people have their own interpretations, but I feel that this is what he was attempting to convey.