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Namesake

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message 1: by Chary (new)

Chary | 1 comments Has anyone seen the film version of The Namesake? Just wanted to get some feedback before I got and get the DVD.


message 2: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 50 comments I've seen it. I enjoyed the movie much more than the book. The mother and father in the movie are amazing! The cinematography is also remarkable.

However, I felt Gogol's girlfriends were kind of annoying, which was probably the point. I also wasn't sure that it was obvious that Gogol wanted a traditional Hindi life with his wife, but she seemed to be reacting against that . . . it confused me in both the book and the movie. Any thoughts?


message 3: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 362 comments I have seen the movie and read the book. The book was okay, not great. However, I felt the same way about the movie. I wanted to get really into it, but didn't. I didn't really feel empathetic to any of the characters.


message 4: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (RebeccaBird) | 8 comments You've seen it by now, but I wanted to comment.

I loved the book and the movie. I actually read the book AFTER I saw the film and wish that I would have done the opposite. It was nice to have "filler" as the movie is a tad different and it tells you more about Gogol's relationships and what he's been through.

The film is lovely. I felt that Gogol and Moushama were both trying to hard to be "Bengali" when they really didn't care to be. I think that when Gogol's father died, he embraced so many aspects of his culture again. However, he also realized that there were aspects that he missed of his other life.

If you liked this, I highly recommend Monsoon Wedding. LOVED that one. It's by the same director, Mira Nair.


message 5: by Laura (new)

Laura | 6 comments I've never read the book, but now I want to, having read your comments. I rented the movie because I saw the trailer and it looked interesting. It wasn't what I thought it would be. Gogol's mother was the most powerful character in the movie, and it wasn't even about her.

My take on it was that, at first, Gogol was rejecting his immigrant heritage, with his white girlfriend and her very American family, but then, when his father died, he regretted that and began embracing his Bengali roots. That backfired on him as well, when his wife wasn't the traditional Bengali wife his mother had been, and his marriage fell apart. So where does that leave him? On a train, on a journey, finding himself.

I'll be interested to see how the book reads.


message 6: by George (new)

George | 951 comments I liked the movie, certainly. I wouldn't say it was one of Nair's best. Actually, I though Mississippi Masala was more interesting and original. Plus, it has Denzel Washington. The US presents a serious predicament to all immigrants. How do we retain who we are, when America allows us to be whatever we want? If we become Americans, do we cease to be Indian, Arab, German, whatever? I think the movie doesn't really explore what it means to be American, doesn't really understand that beyond a very superficial level, defined in the movie by materialism as much as anything else. So, it doesn't really hold up. Of course, all our individual cultures have value, are beautiful in their own way. We do lose something in becoming something else, but it's not all loss. The fact that American culture is more amorphous than Indian culture is not the same thing as saying American culture doesn't exist. Hinduism and the American cult of individuality are diametrically opposed. How do the two coexist? Can the two coexist? That's the real core here, but it isn't developed. Gogol discovers his roots, but he doesn't discover his soul.


message 7: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Yes - I enjoyed the movie very much. It is a tale similar to many other second generation kid story, except in this case Gogol and Moushama did speak Bengali. It really was a movie about search for self. I loved the parents and their relationship - a true love story. I now have Gogol (the author) on my to-read list. Am a little reticent to read The Namessake, because it didn't get great reviews, but Nair is coming to speak in Seattle in May so I really should.

I forgot about Mississippi Masala - thank you to the other poster. THAT was an outstanding movie, especially for its time. Not that much had been released about dual racial relationships in the early 90's except for Spike Lee's work.


message 8: by Kate (new)

Kate martin | 4 comments I love Monsoon Wedding. I liked the Namesake but I felt they made the main character more likeable in the movie than in the book.


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