Just had the fortunate pleasure to watch this on-screen at Lincoln Center NYC, and I definitely admit that it wholeheartedly delivers on the hype built around! Walking in with the Murakami mindset that Beoning (2018) delivered was unfair of me, but did not disappoint me in any way. The key factor that sets this Murakami adaptation apart from Beoning is the fact that there aren't as many loose ends here though.
Two distinctive call-outs which I sincerely applaud have to be the pacing of the edit and the performances. Even for a 3 hr movie, I was gripped from the start to the end - by either the surreal immersive monologues or the pace at which the story continued flowing. Unlike Taste of Cherry, the car itself is not a character here (which I expected) but the focus of the film on a macro level deals with similar concepts I believe - Death, Love, relationships, family, etc. You find signature Murakami moments in dialogues throughout, such as the monologues delivered by several actors capturing the abstract essence.All in all, if I have to describe the movie in a nutshell - "immersive" is the word coming to mind.Definitely worth the watch!