Monday, March 30, 2009

"The Namesake" movie poster

"The Namesake" movie poster
Originally uploaded by knoopie
Reposted: One of my favorite movies!
The Namesake
By Irfan Khan, Kal Penn, Jagannath Guha, Ruma Guha Thakurta, Tabu

I put The Namesake on our Blockbuster online list, and it came before Christmas. Isaac, however, complained so much that we put off watching it until this week, and we finally got to watch it yesterday. I really don't know why he complained so much, since he liked Monsoon wedding and all the other Indian movies I've had him watch. No faith, I tell you. The Namesake is the story of an arranged marriage in India, and the woman moving with the brand new husband to the US. It shows their marriage, their transition to the US, and the stages of life they go through. Then the focus of the story moves to the couples' son, particularly as he tries to establish his identity as an Indian in the American culture he's grown up in. It is beautiful.

The Namesake is really an artful movie, and it attempts to take the depth of the metaphors found in the book The Namesake and put them in film. It is really beautifully filmed, particularly the parts in India that emphasize the color and culture of the country, and then dwell on the beauty and peace of the Taj Mahal . Watching the growth in the relationship between the husband and wife is really touching - what a beautiful marriage. Then, to watch their dismay at the irreverent and withdrawn attitudes of their American children is also quite believable. The metaphor of shoes is quite striking, and the power of grief, family, and culture are all woven together to create a powerful story.

The Namesake

The Namesake was INCREDIBLE. It is now definitely on my list of favorites. It's not a slick and seamless movie, there are parts where the editing could have been better. What is amazing is the metaphors that are wound through the movie and how intensely personal it is. The author of the book AND the filmmaker must have been working from their own personal cross-cultural experience, because it was incredibly insightful.

It's really not surprising I liked it, since two of my other favorites are also stories of immigration - In America and The Joy Luck Club. This not only deals with the struggles of culture, loneliness, and adjusting, but also to the intense dissonance between the parents and the children who have been raised entirely in America. The theme of tradition, of family, of culture.... my word, it was truly beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. we LOVED this movie, too .... great review!