Home away from home.. The Namesake
You are still young, free.. Do yourself a favor.
Before it’s too late, without thinking too much about it first, pack a pillow and a blanket and see as much of the world as you can.
You will not regret it. One day it will be too late.
Jumpa Lahiri, The Namesake
How important is our family to us? This question might have different answers at different stages of our life. Based on the pulitzer prize winning work of Jumpa Lahiri by the same name, “The Namesake” will certainly end with a refreshed perspective towards elder generation and fill you up with an ever new love and respect for family. The theme of the movie is vast and complex that ultimately reduces to simplistic cliches.
Movie that revolves around a bengali family and their experiences in Calcutta and Manhattan as they deal with the divided loyalties and yearn for love, meaning and belongingness. It is a story of the Ganguli family whose decision to relocate from Calcutta to Manhattan evokes a lifelong balancing act to meld to a new world without forgetting the old. Parents Ashoke and Ashima (Irfan Khan, Tabu) take great pride in the opportunities their sacrifices have brought to their children but they also long for their family and culture that enveloped them in India. Their son Gogol (Kal Penn) on the other hand is torn between finding his own unique identity in the comforting culture of west without losing his heritage. Later, as the story progresses it unveils that even Gogol’s name depicts the family’ journey- into the unknown.
The Namesake, a very well scripted movie which brings home the differences between Indian culture and the culture of the West in a very evocative way. It expresses the thoughts and feelings of the first generation settlers and their American born kids in such seamless manner that it feels like it’s almost happening in our own houses.
The movie shows how secular Americanization that provides freedom in the pursuit of careers and happiness, fails to produce happiness at in itself. The events and relationships unfolds in the movie so beautifully and poignantly that it leaves an everlasting touch that lingers for a long time, like a beautiful raaga that haunts you and re-appears out of nowhere at odd times. It’s a story very relevant to the today’s world, which appeals to the children of this generation who are born and brought up in foreign land and struggling to find their roots in their own ways.
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