Monday, March 26, 2007
The two reasons to see director Mira Nair's lastest film The Namesake are pictured here: lead actors Tabu and Irfan Khan. They are absolutely brilliant in their roles as a married Bengali couple who start a new family in America, only to see their children grow up to be less than respectful of their traditions and values.
Apart from their utter grace and grounded presence, the film as a whole is dissatisfying. The narrative is spotty and certain scenes interrupt the proceedings to the point of distraction. The youthful actors are not as skilled as their parental units, which subtracts from the experience, too. (I'm talking to you, Kumar.)
Tabu and Khan, though, are riveting to watch. Their gentle expressions convey so much with so little effort. I would partially credit the dialogue with making these characters so endearing, but the script is rather simple and unremarkable. It's truly their acting talent that transforms this film from "movie of the week" fare into something worthwhile.