‘Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman’ Review: This Giant Frog Needs Your Help

Composer and painter Pierre Feldes makes his feature film directorial debut with Blind Willow, The Sleeping Woman, an animated adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s collection of short stories of the same name. Following Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Oscar-winning film Drive My Car, which is also based on an amalgamation of Murakami’s work, Ferdes’ effort has a pensive tone that is difficult to identify with a surrealist narrative. , leaning more faithfully to the author’s cryptic style. Adding to the opacity is an animation style akin to rotoscoping, where character movements are based on those of real actors. While beautiful and striking at times, the film’s uncanny portrayal of human subjects can alienate some viewers.

“Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman” takes place in the immediate aftermath of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami and revolves around salesmen Komaru (voiced by Ryan Bomarito in the English dub) and Katagiri (Marcelo Arroyo) will be crisis. Komaru laments his separation from his wife Kyoko (Shoshana Wilder). Through flashbacks, we learn that the two came together under special circumstances. Meanwhile, Katagari has a silly meeting with an anthropomorphic frog named Frog (voiced by Ferdes) who tasks him with saving the city from a second impending earthquake caused by a giant earthworm. .

Despite its original and unusual premise, “Blind Willow, The Sleeping Woman” can’t shake the feeling that it’s multiple short stories stitched together, and Murakami’s dialogue and characterization are elusive. No nature does not like it. It works well as a visual companion for fans of the author’s work and as a flawed mystery for everyone else.

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
Unrated. Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes. at the theater.

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