Joey Shapiro’s review published on Letterboxd:
If I had to rank three-hour-long Murakami adaptations from the last five years that clearly fleshed out his female characters much more than Murakami ever cared/bothered to…. this would be a close second to Burning.
Was really frustrated by the direction this took towards the end—it reaches a perfect stopping point half an hour before it actually is over, then it drops three bizarre plot twists in rapid succession and keeps chugging along until another perfect stopping point, THEN leaves us with what is essentially a post-credits scene. Really hard to gripe about a movie not quite sticking the landing though when everything that led up to it is this sensitive and beautiful. Feels so wonderful to watch a drama that completely forgoes a three act structure and just lets you spend time with its characters for a few hours instead of feeling like you’re on a narrative conveyor belt from point A to B. I loved this best in the in-between scenes, where we’re not necessarily moving the plot along but just watching these deeply repressed people struggle to communicate and connect across the emotional barriers they put up. Ryusuke Hamaguchi is unreal and I can’t wait to spend 3 weeks of my life watching his 5-hour breakthrough movie Happy Hour!