Norwegian Wood

I think Japanese Wood is a more accurate name. For his boner.
"All that remains now is nostalgia."

Hello everyone, welcome to a new week full of spectacular cinema achievements, and also weird sex things. Okay if I'm being honest mostly weird sex things today, but that is absolutely NOT my fault! If you want to blame someone, blame Haruki Murakami, after all this was his doing! Today I'm going to talk about Norwegian Wood, a Japanese film based on a Murakami novel of the same name. This novel focuses on Toru Watanabe, a college-aged young man growing up in the 60s in Japan, and his relationships with the people around him, particularly two ladies, his troubled childhood friend Naoko, and a girl he meets named Midori. Naoko is portrayed by Rinko Kikuchi, who you probably saw in Pacific Rim as Mako. Here she plays an actual honest to god crazy person, and does a... very convincing job. She kind of alternates between calm quiet crazy and shrieking hysterical, so that is a fun experience. The movie specifically follows Toru as he makes his way in a listless daze through his life, attempting to figure out up from down and doing a kind of pisspoor job of it. A little bit more background on that though.

This is about to take a bad turn.
So the reason that Naoko is coocoo for cocopuffs is that when they were in high school, Naoko's boyfriend and Toru's best friend (awkward) Kizuki killed himself with a fairly elaborate suffocation apparatus involving a length of rubber tubing fed into his car and connected to the tailpipe. Is the way he killed himself important? No but I found it interesting so you get to hear about it. Anyway after he killed himself Naoko and Toru didn't see each other again until Toru was going to college in Tokyo. They become friends and then get pretty close, and on Naoko's 20th birthday they do the deed and Naoko goes crazy afterwards and disappears, because Toru decides to take this particular moment to ask Naoko if she ever had sex with her dead boyfriend, which apparently didn't because of some issues she had. Whatever the point is that's not a super cool thing to ask some girl you supposedly care about, on her birthday after you have sex with her, or ever actually. Anyway, Naoko leaves, and Toru finds out later that she's gone to a sanitorium, because she has finally shattered into a million unfunctional pieces, and now needs to more or less be kept under constant watch.

He's gonna get a handy from her in like 10 seconds
This event is kind of important, because it says a lot generally about Toru as a character. A character who I think is sort of an apathetic insensitive dickbag for the most part. His best friend (or the closest thing he has to friends because he's a really aloof individual) is this womanizing narcissist who actively cheats on his longtime girlfriend in a way that she absolutely has to be aware of. Toru occasionally participates in these disposable lady activities, but just in a sort of tag-along kind of way. I'm not actually sure if that's better or worse, but either way it seems scuzzy. Toru also engages in sex acts with a girl he claims to care about, even though he knows that she is positively out of her mind nutsy-town. I don't think it's okay to get a handjob from a girl who is so emotionally distraught and unstable that she needs someone to watch her and make sure she isn't hurting herself. That seems  not super cool. This doesn't even address the whole Midori thing. 

Excellent work you stand up guy you.
Midori is a girl that Toru meets while he's at school one day. She wants a boyfriend who's like Toru, for some reason, they really seem to get along and hang out all the time, which is great and everything except he has a girl he claims to love, and she has a boyfriend who she seems to hate, but won't leave anyway. Toru obviously doesn't tell Naoko that he's hanging around this girl, even though she asks. I guess that makes sense, he doesn't want to drive her more crazy, but that doesn't really absolve him of the whole double dealing thing. It becomes increasingly clear that Toru is continuing to visit Naoko and trying to make it work with her out of a sense of obligation and guilt rather than any real chance of them working together, but that doesn't make him not seem like kind of a jerk still, given that he's lying to Naoko, engaging in really questionable sex behaviors with her, and at the same time he's stringing along Midori, who seems to really honestly love him, despite him seeming like kind of an unlikable, vague tool with no real direction.

She senses that the predator is nearby.
Bear in mind that I'm talking about the movie here, I don't know if the perspective we get in the book is different. From what I've read ABOUT it, there seems to be a lot more explanation, which would have been nice. From my point of view though this movie was about a guy who was sort of a jerk, and seemed incapable of controlling his boner and not having sex with every female he met. This ends my analysis of weird sex stuff the movie. OH WAIT except he also had a roomate who like watched him sleep and in one scene told him to trim his nosehairs but then left and I don't know what the fuck was going on there.

Anyway that's it for now! Join me again later in the week, where we will either revisit cyber-thrillers, or we will get shot apart in the jungle.

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