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Posts Tagged ‘Culture’

The Namesake

I know I was going to review “I Am Legend”, but I must have been lying because I am going to talk about “The Namesake”.

 Based on a novel by Jahumpa Lahiri, it explores the life of a an Indian couple and their subsequent children, particularly their son.  From the previews, I expected it to be a movie about their son Gogol learning to love his name.  I thought the story would run something like this: Boy has funny name, boy grows angsty and hates name, boy has miraculous experience, boy decides he loves his name, everyone smiles and love abounds.  And this is somewhat true.

There is a son, named Gogul (as in Nikolai Gogul the writer) and he does come to really hate his name.  However, this is not a movie that tries to wrap everything up neatly into a Hollywood package.  It is not a story about a boy changing his name.  It is a story of a boy coming to terms with his name, his heritage, his culture, his family, and himself.  It is a story where many people learn these things; where parents learn to understand children, children come to know parents, and people learn to understand eachother.

The film’s parellels create  a good continuity and the flashbacks are not superfluous or diffucult to follow through a 2 hour movie.  Like many independant films, it chooses to explore issues rather than try and pose an overt “point” – it paints a larger picture.  Shown through the journeys of one family, you see that life doesn’t come wrapped in a box and you can never tell where it will take you, but if you search you can find beauty, love, and peace.  Aside from being beautifully filmed, it captures the emotions that we all experience amidst the touching, funny, somber, unexpected, sometimes unwanted, beautiful events in life. 

There are some things we move on from and there are many things we come back to in the end.

Overall, a great movie that has spurred me on to read the novel. 

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