I'll try not to compare this to the novel, but I think most people agree that it lacks the relatability, detail, and tone that many came to expect. I thought the film felt strangely put together, preventing me from ever being a part of anything that was going on. The real saving grace of this was its soundtrack, which was wonderfully done although imperfectly implemented. Just read the book.
Not as good as the book but this goes for every good book and would have been to much to expect - compressing a 300+ pages book in 2 hours of movie time. Some of the scenes and characters were a little off from what I remembered or imagined but that is ok. I liked the Japan 1960' atmosphere meticulous recreation.
Is it possible to talk about this movie without referencing the book on which it's based? What I enjoyed about the book is that it's of a specific setting and doesn't apologize for being nostalgic. The movie, save for a few early scenes and obvious music references, has a timeless quality. And the lead characters, particularly our hero, have an airless quality, which keeps a profoundly a moving story at arm's length.
Smart and intimate. Norwegian Wood handles deeply profound issues through atmosphere and body language, relying on the viewer to not need heavy handed dialogue to explain the finer details at work. Each point strikes a balance between the heightened reality of film and the truth of reality. I points I still felt distant to the film and wished to be invited in more to better feel the characters.