Saturday, May 12, 2007

Not the First Tribute

We’ve been waiting for Mira Nair’s The Namesake to come to Cola, and this is the weekend. It has the standard half-week run for an indy flick in this market, so see it now or get the DVD. But that’s not all that happens this weekend. It’s also Mothers’ Day.

Since all the b’s-i-l and s’s-i-l are doing their own Mothers’ Day celebrations in honor of all the mothers in our generation, m-i-l was in danger of being overlooked. But wait! The cat isn’t doing anything for Lizzie, so we can host Bobbie, and do so far from the madding crowd. So we’re taking SWBSWMBO (She Who Bore She Who Must Be Obeyed) to a movie tomorrow afternoon.

If you haven’t heard of The Namesake, scope out the overwhelmingly good reviews at MetaCritic (82% overall, 8.5/10 by viewers), Rotten Tomatoes (85%), or even Google’s movie review search (4.3/5). And if you haven’t heard of Mira Nair (the director), think Mississippi Masala (not bad) and Monsoon Wedding (very good).

The screenplay is based on a novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, and this is not the first time that Mira Nair has brought one of Lahiri’s works off the page. Back in April of 2006, This American Life aired an episode entitled “Fake I.D.,” in which half of the program consisted of Nair reading aloud a short story by Nahiri. The story, taken from Nahiri’s Pulizer-winning collection The Interpreter of Maladies, is a touching and lovely snapshot of the early days in the married life of a mis-matchmade marriage between two NRIs -- Sanjiv, a staid, conservative engineer, and Twinkle, an ebullient MFA candidate who is delighted at all the Cheesus (tacky Christian knickknacks) that they keep finding in and around their new house. Hit the link to the episode and listen to the show. The story starts just before 23 minutes into the show and finishes just after 50 minutes in. (Sorry, since TAL changed their coding a while back, you can no longer fast-forward or rewind the free, archived version of the show. But you can pay $0.95; or you can rip the stream for free if you have the software.)

I hope the movie’s as good as I think it will be. Especially since we’re taking SWBSWMBO.


UltraCrepidarian said...

Mira Nair's one of my favourite directors, and Monsoon Wedding is my favourite of her movies. My least favourite is actually Mississippi Masala. It seemed preachy and the characters seemed lifeless and the acting wooden. Maybe because I only finally rented it this year.

I liked Kama Sutra also. Nudge nudge wink wink.


St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

USCCB review is here.

[Despite a few words, scenes, etc.] ... in fact, some parents might even think it should be required viewing -- for its emphatic affirmation of family, appreciation and respect for one's parents, and embracing one's heritage with pride.

Nair's uplifting and beautiful film encapsulates all the important elements of our humanity so deftly that watching it almost offers the palpable essence of life itself.

St. Izzy said...

THAT was a good movie. Lizzie felt that it dragged a bit in places, but her mother and I were totally engrossed. What a lovely telling of a simple story. Tears were shed.

And on the way out, I ran into one of my Indian students and his family.