The Namesake

A little observation of two movies The Namesake and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham

– Both based in the USA and India in parallel space and time.

– Both talk about two generations of developing India and the gap.

– Both deal with culture divide (to some extent, for sure)

– Both have the issue of non-conventional marriages

– Both directed by renowned directors of their times.

– But, both of them can be precisely distinguished in two distinct genres of movies.

The Namesake

So I was finally impelled and tied to the theatre seat for once to see a movie, and hence killing the sloth god in me. But at the end of it, I was the one who came out stuffed with satisfaction. For once, during the movie when there wasn’t much discussion taking place on screen, I was wondering that what makes this movie so placidly entertaining and I realized that it’s the lack of major Bollywood ingredients – noise, gloss and overplay of emotions, drama and the great Indian circuses. So subtle in its own domain, the movie walks at a leisurely pace, giving a complete worth for the viewer’s time (finding worth for your money, depends on your yardsticks) and senses.

Tabu has always impressed me, in spite of her very few recent appearances on celluloid, she looks amazing in all the different moulds she does in the movie. She plays Ashima and lives her fully in span of two and a half hours. A young Bengali girl, a lot fresh bride in a cold city on the other side of the globe, an old lady managing complexities of her life and her children’s. Irfan Khan justifies why he’s been getting all these offers from outside his own country and so little from his own. Amazing performer he is, without much hullabaloo he carries the role of Ashok Ganguly, doing complete justice to the fiction character.

Gogol, the character around which the whole movie rotates is played by Kal Penn (yes, the guy you watched in Harold & Kumar and American desi), who turns 30 today, but still manages to play a younger role with the same exuberance (and ignorance) of a youth, as required.

A fan of ‘The Interpreter of maladies’ by Jhumpa Lahiri, I now regret that I missed reading the book before the movie. ‘Salaam Bombay’, ‘Monsoon Wedding’ and now ‘The Namesake’, Mira Nair as thorough as she is controversial, ah, perhaps more thorough than controversial. For any Mira Nair, Jhumpa Lahiri, Tabu, Irfan khan fan this movie becomes an obvious must.

A lot of buddies have disliked the movie, a lot criticized it, some liked it, a few loved it and would be in the last category of them, the lovers, make your choice later, but for Godsake! Go and see it now, its getting off the screens, rush!

Posted in Movies. 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “The Namesake”

  1. Steve Says:

    Yep man! The movie was really good! The performances, as you’ve written, were awesome! I don’t regret not having read the book… people who’ve already read it complained that Nair hasn’t done justice to Lahri’s work! Maybe so, but still she has managed to pull off a decent show! Now to read the namesake of the movie 🙂
    Keep posting, dude!

  2. jackalope Says:

    Hi dk!

    Thanks for checking out my blog Quantum Leaps! I will read through your blog and come up with the interview questions in the next day or two! I am happy to “meet” you!

    As far as “The Namesake” goes, I have been wanting to read this book for a long time. Now that I’ve read a little about it on your blog, I shall rush to the library and borrow a copy!!

  3. Sonja Says:

    Hi dk,

    I didn’t have an email address for you, so here are your interview questions! Here are the directions for you to include on your blog post along with the answers to the questions.


    Here’s how this works:

    · Leave a comment at my blog saying, “Interview me.” Include your blog URL.

    · I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

    · You will update your weblog with the answers to the questions.

    · You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

    · When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

    · Have fun!

    1. What does the name of your blog “Pentropy” mean?
    2. What country do you live in now?
    3. Should evil acts be forgiven for the sake of healing?
    4. Should illegal immigrants be given amnesty in the U.S.?
    5. Which forms of alternative energy do you feel hold the most promise for the future?

  4. Sonja Says:

    Jackalope and Sonja are the same people! I’m not sure why jackalope came up instead of Sonja the first time.

  5. desh Says:

    as steve said chk out the namesake of the movie now, in print th version is sure to b bttr
    but as far as i have heard, american indians dont quite agree with the book, they feel tht they are alwys portrayed as cultural split-overs frm regular indian and american traditions…

  6. dk Says:

    ‘american indians’– i think this is more abt those parents who have kids born n brought up there, who are more of ‘indian americans’ and they are anything but indian ! it displayed how hell the kids felt in calcutta…

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