The Namesake - movie review (March 8, 2007)

Generally, I loved this movie. I thought they did a great job of exploring the problems involved when you're trying to mesh two cultures, and neither culture accepts you fully. The journey is about finding a comfortable blending of the two because neither completely rejecting nor completely immersing yourself in your heritage is necessarily a guarantee of happiness.


I'd seen the trailer a while ago, and it had intrigued me. The film is directed by Mira Nair, who I generally like from the films of hers that I've seen. I really enjoyed "Monsoon Wedding", though I had the same problem with this film that I did with that one, which is the constant switching between the two languages. I understand that bilingual people can intermix two languages, though it's never been my experience that they will switch languages every second or third sentence.


The acting performances are good all around, with the father and mother the notable examples. The crew of the film (makeup, hair, wardrobe, etc.) also did a good job as the film spans quite a number of years, so you see the mother and father age.


Kal Penn plays their son, and he had caught my interest in "24" (others may know him from "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle", and he does a great job in this film as the one most fully caught in the culture conflict. The film runs just over 2 hours, and there are places where it's a bit slow, but on the whole, you don't feel the length of the film at all.




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