Wednesday, March 28, 2007
An ambitious exploration of the immigrant experience.....
Namesame is about the Ganguli family who migrate to New york...Their journey of life over three decades...After surviving a life-altering train wreck, engineer Ashoke (Irfan Khan) enters into an arranged marriage with the beautiful Ashima (the singularly named Tabu) and they move to a very modest apartment in the very foreign setting of Queens.
As time passes, the couple has a son and a daughter, as well as a comfortable suburban life in Yonkers. But rapid assimilation takes its toll on their first-generation son Gogol (Penn), who as a teenager feels neither Indian nor American, and who is particularly enraged that his father has made him seem even more foreign and weird by naming him after a Russian novelist who died a virgin.
After graduating from college and going to work as an architect, Gogol starts calling himself Nick and dates a princess (Jacinda Barrett) to put his background behind him.
But his father's in death causes Nick to rethink his position and to eventually become engaged to a gorgeous fellow Bengali named Moshumi (Zuleikha Robinson), who has developed her own forms of rebellion.
Nair crams a lot into the movie's two-hour running time, which at times seems rushed - Gogol's sister Sonia (Sahira Nair), who has her own issues with the Indian diaspora, gets particularly short shrift.
But overall, this gorgeously designed and photographed movie artfully depicts the immigrant experience in ways that transcend its setting, melding Hollywood and Bollywood storytelling techniques to weave a tale a large audience will relate to.
Many scenes play like observed life, with Bollywood stars Khan and Tabu offering finely limned performances as parents struggling to find their way.
Penn's charismatic, loose-limbed work as the confused Gogol helps Nair avoid the earnestness that afflicts so many films of this kind, and he's quite capable of handling the big dramatic moments as well.
You don't have to be Indian to love "The Namesake."
Long after the credits roll up....and audience moves out of the auditorium...one wonders....lets mind drift off thinking about hard facts of life....children will grow up and go away,someday....one has to endure and overcome the loss of a loved one...one must go on...because time and live waits for none....taking life in our stride is the best way to lead it...Namesake makes you think...leaves a deep impact on your life....and makes you want to mould life your way...because life never gives you scope to make amends...you just live to regret