Saturday, April 14, 2007

Obligatory Namesake post

Yeah yeah, I saw it too. In the interests of scoring brownie points and all that.

The movie is not great but it is better than the book. Other than the exocticisation of Calcutta and the Indus Bank billboard with the A Ganguli trunk fiasco, there are no glaring put offs. But is it good enough for one to take the pain the go to the theater and watch it? Yes, for one reason. Irfan Khan. The man carries the movie from the first frame to the last; even when he is not physically there, he seems to fill the frame. It does not matter what the other characters do or do not do. The only similar performance I can think of from a recent Indian movie is Seema Biswas in Water.

PS: Kal Penn is not bad. Really. Its not like he has a meaty role and didn't perform or anything. Its hardly his fault if he is expected to do ntohing.

PPS: BM, I see your point about the camerawork not being very flattering to the Indian women characters. The 2 inch makeup on all their faces is a little strange but to me, it wasn't too jarring. Probably because everytime I have been in any sort of a Bong gathering, the 2-inch makeup has always been very visible to me :)


beachedwhale said...

i thought tabu did a pretty good job as well.. all in all, was a decent movie, but im not sure if it deserved all the attention it got..

Cheshire Cat said...

"The movie is not great but it is better than the book." ?!?!?!?!?!

Why do people hate the book so much? Is it because they think the situations are cliched? Because they feel it is low on incident? They surely can't have any complaints with the writing. It makes no sense at all, but then again we live in a nonsensical world.

Veena said...

Beachedwhale: Tabu was alright but do think Irfan Khan overshadowed her. Yeah, do agree that it is getting too much attention but it does seem to have a huge PR budget. Every tube station in London is plastered with Namesake posters!

Cat: I don't hate the book, just don't think its very good or anything. I liked her short stories much better and think she goes on and on in the novel with nothing new to say. No, no complaints about writing. The writing and general curiousity about Bong customs is what made me finish the book, so no complaints there. Its also interesting that she gets the first generation immigrants right and then loses it once she has to talk about her generation!

Cheshire Cat said...

You're right, Gogol is a bit of a cipher... I wonder if she chooses to represent second-generation Indians this way because she feels they lack a certain "essential" character, something definitive.