Tran Anh Hung directs Kenichi Matsuyama, Rinko Kikuchi and Kiko Mizuhara in this adaptation of the modern Japanese classic by Haruki Murakami about a student in the Sixties who cannot settle on the right girl.
Suicide. Sex. Solitude. Quite a blank, literal (but not literary) take on the source material. Toru Watanabe is quite a feckless and passive lead character… you wouldn’t call him a protagonist… and without his internal monologue his motivations are unfathomable. You end up snoozing through him not really making it with a series of fascinating but doomed young women with no real idea how one scene connects to the next. The emphasis is all wrong, but I only know that as I’ve read the novel… that shouldn’t be a prerequisite for any cinematic adaptation. Kiko Mizuhara’s winning Midori pretty much salvages this.
Perfect Double Bill: Cruel Story Of Youth (1960)
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