Since our time together has come to an untimely end, and Q and I do not get to give you our presentation, I thought that I would put it on the blog! Great idea, right? That’s what I thought.
So here it is. Q and I were teamed together by fate (and fate’s name is Priya) due to our shared desire to study film for our final project. I would like to say that I chose film because I believe in the power of that medium, in the beauty of the marriage between the visual world and the spoken word. But in the interest of full disclosure, the real reason I wanted to do film was because watching a movie is much faster than reading a book. But this teaming up with Q to study film brought about the greatest night of the semester—our night out with Priya Jha. Q and I made plans to travel down to Irvine to watch The Namesake, the film adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel (Interpreter of Maladies) directed by Mira Nair (Mississippi Massala). When we informed Priya of our plans, she knew that the opportunity to see an important movie with two of the University of Redlands’ brightest stars was just too good to pass up, so she decided to join us. Thus, three intrepid travelers set off on a Monday night, ready for high adventure.
For those of you who have been fortunate enough to spend any time with Priya, you have no doubt found out that she can speak intelligently on ANY SUBJECT. It became a game just to try to find some topic that she couldn’t converse fluidly on. Needless to say, she stumped us. It turns out that she is a terrific traveling companion because with her around, you never run out of things to say. But on to the movie…
It was alright. I can’t say that I would have even given it a second thought if not for this class. I have since read the book, which is excellent, and realized that the main problem with the movie is just that it is a very ambitious task to try to adapt this particular story into movie form. So much of what makes the story great is what is going on in the characters heads, and the problem with this, as with all film adaptation is that it has its internal logic abridged. You become a viewer, an observer, of these characters, but you cannot inhabit them the way you can with the book. This is not necessarily to be blamed on the filmmakers; I think it just goes with the territory.
Remember how earlier I said that I wanted to do film because it would save me from reading? Well, the joke was on me because after watching The Namesake, I realized that I was going to have to read The Namesake. And as if that wasn’t bad enough already, there is a work by a Russian author, Nikolai Gogol’s “The Overcoat,” that plays heavily into the story of The Namesake, so I had to read that as well. Only “The Overcoat” is an allegory, and I had no idea what it meant, so I read a collection of critical essays on it to gain further insight. After reading all of these books, Q and I realized that all of the meat of our topic was coming from the books, so, in the end, we decided to shun the movie because the movie was just the Cliffs Notes version of the book that we actually read. So to summarize, our attempt to get out of this project easily by just watching movies turned into reading three different books and working on a final project that just drips with literary analysis (which is not what I had in mind). But what is done is done, and I think Q and I ended having a decent time working on it anyway.
So as for the movie, it’s okay. You could see it if you are really into that kind of thing; the actress who plays grown-up Moushumi was way hot, so there’s that.
I’ll leave you with the review of the movie that the people sitting in front of us gave us at the conclusion of the movie (I liked it so much I wrote it down): “I enjoyed it visually, but the movie just kept on going.”
Oh and Priya- you thought 2:15 was something, check this one out!