Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Namesake

Mira Nair describes this movie as very personal for her as she was grieving a loss and this movie was a work of grief for her. Based on Jhumpa Lahiri Pulitzer Prize winner novel, the movie tells the story of two generations of Indian immigrants who leave India for New York. But to me is a story about how traditions persist to exist within individuals and how new generations still have their roots even when they want to fit among their peers in the new country. Which I find totally normal as it takes several generations to transform traditions and “create” new ones that blend more with the majority of people living in any country.

As a movie is not that bad, it moves slowly through decades and tries to portrait New York City and Calcutta as one identity and it is interesting to see their similarities. Cinematography is interesting and performances are compelling, especially beautiful Tabu (Ashima), incredibly attractive Zuleikha Robinson (Moushumi) and Kal Penn that plays Gogol Ganguli.

Then I missed something in this movie and I’m not totally sure what was it, so if any of you felt the same, perhaps can share what you missed. I’m thinking that the narrative was too somber, which makes the film forgettable and not as outstanding as the book, even when the film is faithful to the novel.

Not for all audiences you have to like sort of epic movies that tell stories about several generations and their everyday “normal” life. I do like Mira Nair’s movies and was looking forward to see this one, but for some unclear reason it disappointed me.

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