We have seen a lot of good movies lately, thanks both to Netflix and the library. I could go on and on about Freeway, Blood Diamond, Zodiac, Russian Dolls, 3 Iron, and Elephant, among others. However, I will choose to talk about one we saw last week that has remained on my mind until this very moment: Mira Nair’s The Namesake, which is based on a novel of the same name by one of my favorite authors, Jhumpa Lahiri.
Although I read the book recently and was pretty familiar with the plot, I enjoyed the movie a great deal. It is the kind of movie that truly moves you as I was not alone in shedding tears non-stop for the duration of the film. Many left the E-Street cinema with swollen, red eyes and mascara running down their cheeks.
The movie tells of the travails of an Indian family that immigrates to the US to pursue the American dream while watching their children becoming more Americanized by the day. I could not stop laughing when the father in the movie, Ashoke Ganguli, explained to his wife the concept of the "24-hour" gas stove.
This scene took me back almost two years ago when we were about to sign the lease on our current apartment. When I asked the rental agent about changing the gas cylinder, she kindly explained to me that I would never have to worry about it. Another memorable scene was when the mother, Ashima, mixed cereal with curry and peanuts in an attempt to make her first American breakfast.
Kal Penn, who played Gogol, did a fantastic job portraying the main character. Watching it also really made me want to get my hands on the real Gogol’s literary work, especially his short story The Overcoat, which plays a central theme in the movie. All in all, the movie was as satisfying as the book. I highly recommend it. Here are some reviews from Rotten Tomatoes.