The plot involves a mysterious young man who confesses his unusual hobby to the narrator: he likes to burn abandoned barns. Was the man really burning barns? Or was it all just a metaphor for something else? While the story, which first appeared in The Elephant Vanishes compilation, can be read in a matter of minutes, his Burning film clocks in at over 2 and a half hours. Fortunately for Murakami fans, this is minutes well spent. Nevertheless, I was very intrigued by how the film would play out after first learning about it.
|Published (Last):||18 July 2010|
|PDF File Size:||6.3 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||6.43 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
The plot involves a mysterious young man who confesses his unusual hobby to the narrator: he likes to burn abandoned barns. Was the man really burning barns? Or was it all just a metaphor for something else?
While the story, which first appeared in The Elephant Vanishes compilation, can be read in a matter of minutes, his Burning film clocks in at over 2 and a half hours. Fortunately for Murakami fans, this is minutes well spent. Nevertheless, I was very intrigued by how the film would play out after first learning about it. Before watching, though, I made sure to re-read the original story over again. Was he actually a drug dealer? However, I think the pot smoking part is just a minor detail in the grand scheme of things.
The man seemed to have been waiting a long time to find just the right person to whom he could reveal his secret. After the initial encounter takes place, the narrator scouts out several barns in his area, but he never comes across any that have been burnt down. Later on, he finally runs into the wealthy traveler at a cafe in central Tokyo. Does happen, you know. Around the same time, he also loses touch with his younger female friend who was dating the rich guy.
When first reading the story, I interpreted it in a few different ways. Mainly, I figured that the barns were some kind of surrealist metaphor for parts of the subconscious. The barns, and also the hunt for them, could also symbolize lost friendships.
But during my recent read-through, another question popped into my head: did this mysterious rich boyfriend kill the girl? The narrator himself does not make any such suggestions. It takes place in Seoul, Korea and not in Tokyo, Japan.
The most significant difference, then, is the changes made to the main protagonist. In the short story, the narrator is a year-old married novelist. He lives in a house somewhere on the outskirts of Tokyo. Jong-su, on the other hand, is in his early twenties and in a far from stable situation.
In the short story, the relationship between the narrator and his female friend, aged 20, is portrayed as something of an odd-couple friendship. The two met randomly at a party, and the narrator takes on kind of an older brother role in their relationship.
He enjoys spending time with her because her simple, carefree attitude helps him forget about his ordinary life struggles. After all, he still lived with his wife. The character dynamic gets switched up a lot in the film. He then tags along as the third wheel on get-togethers with Haemi and the wealthy Porsche-driving Ben. Haemi and Ben One of the things I liked about the story is how the rich boyfriend was so easily able to get in the head of the narrator.
Despite being a stable and mature man living out an ordinary life, the narrator becomes so entranced by images of barns burning that he starts thinking about it all the time.
As the story ends, he even fantasizes about picking up the hobby himself. And of course, how he reacts when she goes missing. The cinematography is captivating and the acting is on point. The clear standout is the actor who plays Ben the wealthy boyfriend , Steven Yeun. His character is charming, suave and all-smiles on the surface.
The other main actors also did a good job, but Yeun was a clear cut above the rest. That is, if you can find suitable subtitles, as the movie is all in Korean.
Non-fans will enjoy it as well, but reading the story beforehand is recommended to enhance the viewing experience. And now, off to finally start reading Killing Commendatore… Share this:.
Andrea Lee Reads Haruki Murakami
Two men, one rich and important, the other a listless writer, share some pot and have a conversation that quickly turns chilling: The former confesses a secret hobby of burning abandoned greenhouses to the ground, every couple of months, just because he can. Is he being metaphorical, or literal, or simply lying? The writer tries to figure it out, but never quite does, leaving it to the reader to puzzle out the more troubling implications. In Burning, the disaffected writer is Lee Jong-su Yoo Ah-in , a young man performing odd jobs in Seoul while professing a vague desire to become a novelist. He lives in a rural area outside the capital, at a dilapidated farm owned by his father who is currently in jail , close enough to the North Korean border that he can hear propaganda broadcasts wafting over the radio. Indeed, Ben does seem to represent a wave of gentrification that Burning takes more than a few glancing shots at. He throws dinner parties dominated by meaningless small talk, drives a Porsche, and is almost frighteningly dispassionate, offering little more than curt nods and polite smiles in conversation.
Everything You Need to Know About the Latest Haruki Murakami Film Adaptation
BURNING (2018 FILM): THOUGHTS AND REVIEW