Friday, May 02, 2008

The Namesake?

Today I decided to watch The Namesake. Dissapointed.

It's ironic how while reading the book I thought that Jhumpa Lahiri had paid too much attention to detail - to the extent that it annoyed me. But the movie is just the opposite. No detail at all. Everything in the movie happened so abruptly - so abruptly that it annoyed me.

And the facts - completely twisted.

- To start with, Ashoke smokes in the movie. Now, in the book, Ashoke was apparently the only bengali guy in the US who did not smoke.

- When Ashoke goes to meet Ashima at her house, her parents tell his parents that her best subject is English. Then her dad asks her to to recite something, and she recites"Daffodils" by William Wordsworth. As far as I know, that never happened in the book.

- In the movie, Ashoke is doing his PhD in fiber optics in New York, but the book mentions that he was in Cambridge. Surprise Surprise!

- The movie completely ignores Gogol's ceremony in which he is asked to grab either a pen, a dollar bill, or something else (can't recall what). I thought the scene was funny. Instead, they show Sonia's ceremony.

- Gogol's college girlfriend Ruth does not appear in the movie at all.

- The Ganguli family goes to India for 3 months after he graduates from high school. In the book, they went to India when he was still in 10th grade.

- In the movie, Gogol meets Moushumi after his high school graduation. In the book, he met her when he was 6.

- Which reminds me, On the day he graduates Gogol is shown smoking weed with his friends with a tassle wrapped around it. First - Not mentioned anywhere in the book. Second - utterly gross.

- Ashoke barges into Gogol's room when he is headbanging and air guitaring to Pearl Jam's "Once". In the book, he was listening to The Beatles.
- In the movie, Gogol discusses his plans of changing his name with everyone in the family at the dinner/lunch table. Ashoke just says "everything is possible in America" and goes away to smoke. The book, as a matter of fact, had several pages dedicated to this situation - "in detail".

This is when I couldn't take it anymore and decided not to watch the rest of it. Those of you who have not seen the movie - don't. Read the book instead. It is much more engrossing and painful - and will bring tears to your eyes.

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