“The Namesake” Honors Heritage and Self

Genres: Drama and Adaptation
Running Time: 2 hrs. 2 min.
Release Date: March 9th, 2007 (limited)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexuality/nudity, a scene of drug use, some disturbing images and brief language. .
Distributors: 20th Century Fox International, Fox Searchlight Pictures

Directed by: Mira Nair

JJ Rating: A+

An Indian couple moves to America and have two children. The couple struggle with adapting to America. Then when their kids grow up they struggle with their heritage coupled with their strong American environment in which surrounds them and tempts them to be the same.

The Namesake is about what I stated but based on that you wouldn’t grasp why it was titled The Namesake. It gets its name from the name of the son in the movie that was played by Kal Penn. His name came from an important event and it becomes the main focus during the second half of the movie.

I enjoyed the acting by Irrfan Khan and Tabu. They were both strong in their roles without being too overly dramatic. It was different seeing Kal Penn in a serious role and he pulled it off remarkably.

I decided to see this movie on a whim. I saw that it was showing at a theater and I read a summary of what it was about. I decided to give it a shot and I was pleasantly surprised by the end of the movie. I gave The Namesake an A+ which really leaves no room for cinematic mistakes. It’s almost like stating the movie was flawless.

Was it flawless? I cannot really think of what they could have done that would have made it better than what it is. I’m sure other people could but for me it was just perfect. It is one of the best dramas I’ve seen in a good while. I liked how the people aged. That was the only way one could tell that time had passed because there was no year indication at the bottom of the screen. I’m grateful for that because how they did it was far better than pointing it out every time it was done. I liked how it showed the son in an extreme denial of his heritage and then an extreme shift to his heritage while leaving out someone important. What he needed was balance.

I believe it is a good father/son movie. It’s one of those movies that a father and son can see and both enjoy because it focuses more on the father and son than the others. It shows how teenagers fail to see the important things their parents try to do for them. It goes unappreciated until years later when they are more mature to understand what it was that was actually offered or given to them.

The parents in the movie had to deal with wanting to keep their traditions while trying to be understanding of the new experience in which America was forcing on them. I believe that it’s a difficult task to find balance when you are use to a traditional way of living and live in America where such traditions really don’t have much use.

I loved the story and how it was told. I enjoyed it and I believe I’ll be buying it. It’s a unique movie to me and it offers something that can be learned from. I could show it to my child in hopes that they get what was going on between the boy and his father so as to not fall into that same scenario. I’m sure that then they’d fall into another scenario, but at least I would have avoided one. Ha.

The Namesake offered an interesting take on a family who had a heritage living in a country that offered them opportunities while at the same time offering situations that question their heritage. I believe that heritage and knowing one’s self with the heritage is important. No one should turn their back on their heritage and try to be something that they were not engineered to be.

I’m glad that I got to see this movie and I feel honored to have enjoyed it as much as I have because it allows me to appreciate my own father without the thinking of the evil in which I believed he caused when I was a teenager. Of course, like the son in the movie, I’m grossly exaggerating. After seeing The Namesake I can appreciate what it is that I have. I’ll honor self and heritage.

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