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The movie The Namesake

The movie The Namesake (2007), is a wonderful story of how an Indian family tried to live their life in America despite the clash of cultures and beliefs. The movie was based on Jhumpa Lahiri’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel (Turner, 2006). The Indian couple Ashoke and Ashima, decided to start their family in America and give their children limitless opportunities. They have two children, Gogol and Sophia. The first born, Gogol, was named after his father’s favorite author Nikolai Gogol. The couple did not really intend that their child keep such name until he grows old.

Such was given temporarily in order to comply with the birth certificate requirements. However, when the child was growing and his parents wanted him to change name, the child preferred to retain his old name. Gogol had no issue with his name until his namesake, the Russian author, became the subject in one of his classes. The discussion in class revealed that Gogol was a paranoid but genius author. Due to such revelation, he became the subject of jokes of his classmates thus, leading him to hate his name too.

Gogol went through college and there met Maxine, the girl to whom he fell in love with. In verge of the emotions that he was feeling for the girl, he defied traditions and his parents wishes. His parents struggled to keep Indian values alive among their children but the influence of the outside world was so strong that they could hardly make their children retain Indian traditions and beliefs. Gogol preferred to stay with other people than with his family. He felt sick with the fact that his parents were doting immigrants.

He even came to the point of telling his parents that he should have his name changed. Although his parents did not want to, they still allowed him to do as he wished. However, before Gogol could change his name, his father told him that aside from being his favorite author, Gogol also reminded him of his second life. He was reading a book of Gogol when the train to which he is in faced a mishap. Many died from the accident but he survived. He said that whenever he looks at Gogol, he remembers the miracle of life that was granted to him.

The movie reflects how immigrants try to blend in the American populace while struggling to preserve the values and traditions that they were raised with. Immigrants, although they are already living in a foreign country, would still want to retain the culture and put it in practice. The movie somehow serves as an eye opener for the viewers, specially those who are born and raised in the United States. Many Americans may take for granted the opportunity that they give them.

The movie is an excellent way of reminding them of the chances that they have. Unlike immigrants, they need not go to another country, sacrifice being away with their families and more importantly stress to their kids the importance of their traditions. It is very difficult to raise kids in a country where almost all the people practice a different belief. The beauty with this film is the emotions are deeply felt by the viewer even if there are only a few scenes which mirrored crying. The movie is emotional in a subtle way and beautiful way.

Aside from the plot of the story, the scenery and the architecture that were presented were also amazing. The depiction of the Taj Mahal was so beautiful that it arouses a desire to visit the place. Moreover, the colors utilized by the director were also significantly attractive. They added more color and life to the story and the plot. The depiction of the Indian practices was also excellently done. Among those which were beautifully depicted were the marriage ceremony, the fabrics, and the sceneries.

Although the movie did not show the best of India, it provided the audience on how a typical Indian family lives and how they are closely knit together. Works Cited Nair, Mira, dir. The Namesake. Perf. Irfan Khan, Kal Penn and Tabu. 2006. DVD. Fox Searchlight Pictures. 2007. The Namesake. Fox Searchlight Pictures. <http://www. foxsearchlight. com/thenamesake/> Turner, Matthew. (2006). The London Review. View London. <http://www. viewlondon. co. uk/films/the-namesake-film-review-17327. html>

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