TIFF 2006 Movie: The Namesake

Categories: India, Movies, Toronto

Rating: 9/10

(Namesake movie pic) When I was backpacking around India earlier this year, a lot of people told me to read The Namesake but being the lazy guy that I am, I didn’t want to carry the extra weight (the book probably weighs over a pound if not two…). So when we went to go see this movie, I was a little … because now I wouldn’t need to read the book, since we all know that movie adaptations are always better (that’s my attempt at sarcasm). In any case, we went to go watch the showing and to our surprise the director Mira Nair was there to introduce the film, and then to our dismay, she ended up sitting down right behind us – kinda makes it hard to make jokes about the movie when she’s sitting within listening distance!

So on to the movie – man, it was great! The book is known for its realistic and intense portrayal of the emotions and nuances of the typical immigrant family, with s, that … it would be hard for the movie to live up to the high standard. But the movie did not disappoint – I came away drained but… if the book can convey emotions and stronger than this, I’m not sure I could read the book! To tell you the truth, I was expecting Kal Penn to ruin it because I just can’t picture him anything but humorous roles, but he was actually really good in this movie and didn’t seem out of place at all – although I didn’t need to see the scene with his naked butt…

Without a doubt though, this movie was great – a definite must see for not just south asians, but anyone who’s lived the immigrant experience – or anyone who wants to try and understand it – the attention to detail, and Nair’s ability to capture small nuances on screen are incredible

I was also pretty chuffed after the movie – Mira Nair was completely approachable and was really down to earth – you’d think that someone as successful as her would be a little standoffish (ahem… don’t want to highlight anyone who fits the description of a meany, but lets just say that a director who’s name starts with “Gurin…” and ends in “chadha” wasn’t the friendliest person when we met her last year…). Anyway Mira Nair was super nice. I had heard about some work Mira is doing in Uganda, and so I asked her about her connection, and she was really engaging and passionate when talking about her life in Uganda – she’s started Maisha Film Lab in Kampala with the aim of helping foster East African talent – check it out, it’s really cool stuff

Other reviews: (updated)

Did you watch this movie? what did you think?


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