Sunday, April 01, 2007

Jhumpa Lahiri on the movie The Namesake

Jhumpa Lahiri, author of the The Namesake, talks about her feelings upon seeing Mira Nair's movie adaptation of her novel:
"I saw it for the first time privately in November 2005. I didn’t feel anxiety in the making of the film. I felt relaxed and curious. I was burning with curiosity as we were going to see the movie. I had no idea what to expect. I had seen shots and stills so I had a sense. But to see it, I was just overwhelmed and had a very emotional reaction. I didn’t cry when I watched it. I cried afterward. It was the totality of the movie.

One of the great gifts that Mira has given to me is, you know, when I write something, I give it everything that I can, but at the same time, I’m very removed from it, and when it’s done, it ceases to matter to me. I’ve never gone back to something I’ve written and been affected by it because by that point it’s so completely out of my system. I’m not going to go to my own writing to have those experiences, I’m going to go to others’ writing for those experiences.

So for the first time I was able to experience something I had written and have any reaction to it. It was the first time I saw something and it was her movie and it was different. But it was essentially something that I’d written that had percolated in me for years and years and had taken a long time to write and all that stuff and the characters and it was true enough to my book, and I saw it and I was moved."
Link through Amitava's blog. Also, Lahiri's Outlook interview is here.


Pallavi said...

yah i heard great review of this movie too from a friend..i really want to watch this one..

Hari said...

This is a very good movie - it draws a lot of its emotional power from the incident which gives the movie its title.

Zeynep said...

wow! very cool blog Hari. I am looking forward to reading it more as I find time. I saw the movie in June in Anchorage. I liked it since it was personally relevant to me as an immigrant as well. Yet I can't say I loved it. Though I did not read the book, I got the sense that I would have liked it better. I heard the same thing about Kite Runner. Have you read the book and seen the movie?

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Ardhendu De said...

The movie i have seen and the story i have read confounds me with the logic behind screening a plot or telling a story with the same perspective time and again.I must argue here that a filmmaker or a writer better introspect before writing. he or she can not sell the same wine in new bottles every time.

Marlene Detierro said...

The film's real revelation is the acting ability of Kal Penn. Previously known and typecast only for stoner-like roles, Nair took a flyer here on Penn and came up a winner. He's brilliant. He pretty much has to be, as he's in just about every scene. Irfan Khan and Tabu are also fantastic as parents Ashoke and Ashima. I love how Ms. Nair is able to pick actors from the US and Bollywood film worlds and make them work as a family.

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