The film “Namesake” directed by Mira Nair demonstrates the effects of global conscience and how it influences the general behaviors and cultural values of an individual. The film starts basically with a young man reading a novel by a famous artist who later influences his believes and consciences of his original culture. (Pilcher, Lydia D, Mira 22) The outcome of this influence intensifies and he finally gives in to this intensifying strong feeling to change his decision on the cultural value of his community. Although he was so much influenced by the strong desires that prompted him to change completely, he managed to get married to a woman of his native land. They move to America where they find new way of living. America being a multicultural states with so many international delegates migrating into that nation, it has no specific culture that people live to follow.
The effect of global awareness has taken its root and modernization is the role target to all citizens. The young man (Ashoke Ganguli) names his child Gogol after the famous Russian artist. He had been influenced by the work of this Russian artist who was globally recognized and had a lot of influence on her readers. The collision of cultural values and the general global awareness, describes the contrasting way of accommodation and the strategies taken to adapt to the new environment, circumstances and the new cultural practices ( Pilcher, Lydia D, Mira 68). The new practices are intrinsically amazing to any age. In an opposing view, it appears so fascinating process in the current fast growing global.
The level of globalization does not give room for people to express pride to their concerned culture. The film exactly hit the nail on its head and openly portrays out this theme in such a clear and straight forward method. The film touches on the realistic views on how people struggle to cope with the new globalizing world in respect to their native cultural values. The film portrays the struggle individual’s face in fighting for the choice between rapidly growing global conscience and the cultural heritage.( Pilcher, Lydia D, Mira 41)
The film maker openly portrays the predicament a name brings in respect to self-realization. The main actor Gogol views the name given to him as unexplainable to the public when asked what it all means. The name has a Russian origin but Gogol was an Indian, this implied that he had to provide the root to this name which he himself had no idea what it all consisted. He came to hate the name due to the frequent questions he used to face.
In addition, the film maker further describes the struggles the character went through to find his true identity and the origin of this name. In addition to this struggle to find the true identity of which he is, he is still not comfortable with his name and describes it as absurd and odd. He finds himself in a dilemma of his identity between being and Indian or an American. The film explains the challenges children who immigrate to a foreign country and it happen they poses two names that comes from a total different tribe they come from. However, despite all the circumstances that covered Gogol as a character of unknown origin, he was not completely cut off from the source and identity he possessed as a person himself. He manages to live a new life with the self-identification back in his mind. The film defines that national identity undergoes rapid constant revolution. In the film, Gogol expresses the hatred for his name after he changes it back to Nik when he was admitted at Yale University to pursue a degree in architecture. The suffering of Gogol comes to an end when he found a book written by an author of his name. There is an existing universal element in this film that characterized the struggle and wrangles individual of two world faces to overcome identity crisis. The film maker inserts his theme clearly deep into the minds of the viewers.
In the film “the namesake”, there are an existing number of themes. The themes are almost all linked to the cultural believes and practices of the characters in the action. The most common theme that arises in the film is theme of social class and racism. The film shows that the Caucasians loved to enjoy expensive way of living. They preferred living an expensive life style. The film defines the reason why people are being affected psychologically through racial differences. The film explores how Gogol development was affected. The effects were so intense to Gogol to have a specific kind of a relationship with people different from his race. The marriage between Moushumi and Gogol failed apart due to the difference in their races. (Ettedgui, Peter and Lahir 52)
The next obvious theme portrayed in this film is the theme of relationships between parents and children. This is a prominent theme that comes out clearly in this film. The relationship between parents and children is further shown in this film when Gogol took his account to travel and live in the United States. . This indicates that their relationship was not promising and the link between them was a broken one.
The theme of dissatisfaction describes how happiness was an elusive element for all the characters in the film. In this film, it portrays the cause of discontent among the characters. It shows that the difference in their reveries and actuality causes individuals to live a discontent life. The main character (Gogol) lives a sad life due to the difference in their culture from the other people.( Pilcher, Lydia D, Mira 62)
The director of this film used the feelings and characters to portray his message to the viewers. The feeling describes Gogol as being emotional and had identity crisis in his heart. Through his feelings towards something, viewers would draw their own conclusion on the intended message from the director of the film.
The filmmaker used the characters actions to express his intended message to the viewers. In one of the instances, Gogol just left his former girlfriend in a desperate situation, viewers can conclude for themselves why he did that, Gogol left his former girlfriends just because they were not from the same race and social background. He had divorced several women in the same reason. In every action of the characters, the intended theme is passed through to the viewers.( Kenworthy and Chris 86)
The film exposes Kal Penn (Gogol Ganguli) as being so rebellious and increasingly rude to his father when he was presented with Nikolai Gogoli’s book during his birthday. Another instance that shows unique cinematic views is the tacit nature Gogol possessed. In the film, Mira Nair projects Gogol’s personal hatred for his name in front of the class.( Pilcher, Lydia D, Mira 80) This teasing in the class perfectly describes the shooting scene of this film. In addition, Mira Nair decides to express Gogol’s thoughts in the class and making fun of him. The director of this film set an emotional scene when Ashoke died and the reactions that came from Ashima. Furthermore, the view of Ashima’s hands full of blood was an amazing shot to move the viewers in a chilling feeling down their spine.
The technique of mise en scene is applied in this film has been applied in several instances. One example of this instance is when Ashima was in India, with colorful colors such as orange and pink. Laughter is heard from every corner of the surrounding with some background music being played. This gives one an impression of how India is warm and comfortable for this character (Ashima). In a concluding remark the other technique applied in this movie is camera angle (Daviau, Allen, and Sacha 602), at the start of the movie where Ashima and the environment around her and the general look were exceptional and the screenplay looked crisply.
Daviau, Allen, and Sacha Vierny. Cinematography. Venice, CA N.p., n.d. Print.
Ettedgui, Peter. Cinematography. Woburn, MA: Focal Press, 1998. Print.
Kenworthy, Chris. 100 Great Home Movie Techniques. Lewes: Ilex, 2006. Print.
Pilcher, Lydia D, Mira Nair, Sooni Taraporevala, Kal Penn, Tabu, Irrfan Khan, Jacinda Barrett, Zuleikha Robinson, Frederick Elmes, Allyson C. Johnson, Nitin Sawhney, and Jhumpa Lahiri. The Namesake. Beverly Hills, Calif N.p., n.d. Web.