The Namesake - Notepad

wogma rating: Buy the DVD already (?)
quick review:

This is story-telling at its best. Especially considering there was nothing very unique or great about the story itself. I was mesmerized by Tabu’s acting. Simple day-to-day dialogues and none, if not necessary added to the elegance of the movie.

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Warning: this section has some details that could distort your experience while watching the movie. I strongly recommend reading this only after you have seen the movie or if you have decided not to see it.

Plot Summary

Ashoke (Irrfan Khan) and Ashima (Tabu) get married the arranged marriage way. Ashima goes to New York with Ashoke who is studying there. They do well for themselves and start a family. The story then goes on to show the various facets of their relationship with their children.

What Worked

  • The love scene between Ashima and Ashoke was done with a lot of sensitivity and passion
  • The sequence in which the Ganguli family visits Taj Mahal. How the three main characters react to seeing the monument is captured beautifully.
  • The use of gray when the story reaches the sad parts.
  • Tabu’s reaction when Gogol’s girlfriend calls her and Irrfan by name.
  • Tabu’s acting when she hears of the loss of dear ones.
  • Ashima’s little farewell speech.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Introduction of Gogol’s girlfriend was rather abrupt.
  • Ashoke’s parents are hardly ever shown. Their absence was very awkward.
  • When they avoided all clichés, they should have avoided the over-usage of “This is America”.
  • Just one slight hitch in Ashima’s character. She asks Gogol to patch up with Maxime. After a couple of dialogues she wants him to try meeting Maushumi. Doesn’t gel with the rest of her character
  • Little things about Gogol’s character – on the whole he came across as a person for whom sex was not everything in a romantic relationship, then why was he attracted to Maushumi?

Nitty-Gritty

This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • Did Indian Airlines do international flight in late 70s or was it a domestic flight Ashima and Ashoke were taking?
  • Were non-passengers allowed to come right to where the planes are boarded to see-off their loved ones?
  • The house that Ashima and Ashoke first moved to in New York seemed a little big for a student.
  • In a movie where they got everything right, a smiling new-born baby seemed out of place. Babies don’t smile like that till they are 14-16 weeks old.
  • The Ganguli family were taking a long airplane trip with a small baby – but without a baby bag!
  • Ashoke goes for a six month trip with just one carry-on bag.
  • Doesn’t Ashima’s voice age over the years (while singing).

Update: Corrected spelling mistake - 'Ashim' replaced by 'Ashima'. Thanks Ashima (Comment #1).