a sybarite in paradise
reviewing the food & entertainment pleasures of Honolulu
The previews of this film made borrow the book and read it. The book is mood piece, giving good insight into the lives of a Bengali family’s life in America. The main character is Gogol Ganguli, who through his life has problems with his name, even changing it at one point to Nikhil. The book was most enjoyable. The filmmakers did a great job transferring the book to film. The movie kept the themes of the book, carefully editing the story down to a manageable size. I can’t say that the film flies by; it more or less meanders through the character’s lives for it’s two hours. On the other hand I didn’t look anxiously look at my watch either. The most successful aspect of the film was the culling of the comedy of the novel. The film is quite funny. I didn’t quite get as much humor from the novel, but these exact same situations with the same words translated well to the screen and had me laughing. I found the ending when I read it much heavier than the movie, even though it was the same. The film helped me understand the novel better and that’s a rare occurrence.
Kal Penn plays Gogol/Nikhil with aplomb. He’s a delight. Kal has a long IMDB page, but I know him best from the very funny Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Irfan Kahn and Tabu play Gogol’s parents Ashoke & Ashima. Both are terrific in their roles.
The Namesake is a thoughtful piece and well worth seeing.
Friday, April 13, 2007
The Namesake