After Dark by Haruki Murakami

October 26, 2009 — 7 Comments

haruki-murakami-after-darkThis is the Spanish edition of Haruki Murakami’s book also titled with the same name. It tells a bizarre real-time (think of Fox’s 24) story surrounding a 19-year-old named Mari who sits at a random Denny’s restaurant in the middle of the night, when a dude comes by telling her they’ve met once before, he’s a friend of Mari’s older sister, Eri. At the same time, Eri is seen in a neverending sleep, as if she never wanted to wake up again.

To be honest, I didn’t really get the chapters that described Eri’s bizarre sleeping sequences. At first, it was kind of scary, but it just didn’t do much for me in the end. I did really enjoy Mari, though. I wanted to know more about her… perhaps because I can relate effing around at a Denny’s in the middle of the night. Sometimes I would go there — maybe call a friend, or stop by a friend who lived around it — get something to eat or drink and waste time. I would also go on the longest walks around town with a friend at 2am, taking photographs or ending up at the local playground sitting on the swings. I still miss those.

Anyway, I digress. What I wanna say is that I could see a bit of me in Mari, so I wanted to read more about her. I thought all the stuff related (people, not incidents) to the Love Hotel was very interesting… Kaoru, Korogi and Komugi. And Takahashi made me laugh.

I gotta admit that this would play out nicely on a movie, though. While reading it, I was imagining Yu Aoi as Mari — I know she’s way too old for the role, but she can pull it off LOL — there was also Eita as Takahashi (tall, skinny and a feeling like you can tell him stuff), Shizuyo Yamasaki as Kaoru, Mikako Ichikawa as Korogi… and I had a dilemma whether to choose Asami Mizukawa or Kou Shibasaki as Eri. The good thing is that in the book everyone says Mari and Eri are very different. Mari is never considered gorgeous like her model sister Eri, so I could get away with any of the two. You could sense that Mari is pretty, but not in the “omg-she’s-so-hot” kind of way. I feel like Shibasaki would fit better as an older sister to Aoi’s Mari, however, Mizukawa is 2 years older than Aoi (same age difference with the characters) and I think fits better the whole “hot” factor. Plus, both Shibasaki and Mizukawa have shared the screen with Eita already. xD

As for the Chinese character, I dunno. Maybe Sandrine Pinna? I know it’s a pretty small role, but she’s sorta the same age as Aoi. I think it’s a tough role though, but it’d be interesting to see what the on-screen chemistry is on that particular scene at the Love Hotel. As for the other Chinese dude, I was thinking Chen Chang~~~ as for the office worker guy, I know he’s supposed to be in his 30s, but would I be pushing it if I’d say Abe Hiroshi feels like a good choice?

I want this movie made. Ha! With this cast! Make it happen Murakami-san!

7 responses to After Dark by Haruki Murakami

  1. I like your casting. Eita and Shibasaki Kou are very talented. Plus, if Kou is involved, she might have a say on how it gets made, like with Crying Out Love in the Centre of the World. Chang Chen would also be a good choice. And, of course, Yu :). Was watching Hana & Alice again a few nights ago. She’s amazing. Plus, I recognised the “Little M ushroom” guy froom Liar Game. lol

  2. On the subject of Eita, have you seen Ahiru to Kamo no Koinrokka? I saw it ages ago and it has been so hard to get it with english subtitles, but last week I managed to find the DVD with the subs. First time I have seen it here! If you haven’t seen it, it is really worth checking out.

  3. I read Shibasaki loved that book, but I didn’t know she had creative put into it. I recently re-watched Battle Royale (finally got the DVD, yay!) and she was crazy in it. Loved her haha.

    Who is the Little Mushroom guy? haha

    I haven’t seen many films with Eita, did you buy or rent the DVD? There’s so many projects that are on the list to watch, but none have subs!

    I’m glad you liked that casting =D

  4. I read that Shibasaki liked the book so much that she was one of the driving forces behind making the movie adaptation. But that may or may not have been accurate. And yes, she was super freaky in Battle Royale :0.

    I bought the DVD. I’d been looking for it with subtitles for 2 years! I couldn’t let it slip away. lol

    The Little Mushroom guy (Sakamoto Makoto) is the guy in the drama society who wears the robe and who hogs the stage during the school festival in Hana & Alice. He plays a character nicknamed ‘Little Mushroom’ in the Liar Game series.

  5. Oh him! He’s also on Nodame, and a few other films… but just small roles xD

    I’ve been looking for subs for Blue with Mikako Ichikawa… u.u

  6. I have never read any of his other books. I only bought this because it was on sale but I pretty much agree with you on everything. I really liked the book but the surreal scenes with the older sister while interesting to read left me scratching my head. I didn’t get how they related to the “real life” chapters which I found far more compelling.

  7. xD

    Funny! I also bought this because it was on sale. There was another of his books, and a few other books from Japanese writers. So I bought them xD

    I think it would have been enough to tell us that Eri was sleeping throughout. No need for the man through the television, or waking up on the other side.

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