The Namesake (2006): Hidden perfection

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The Irrfan

76. The Namesake (2006) — I have a new favourite actor and his name is Irrfan Khan. Also, I think I’ve found a proper model of the ideal man, and his name is Ashoke Ganguli as played by Irrfan Khan. The lyrics to “Another Spring” as sung by Nina Simone floated into my mind, as lonely as a cloud: “I just can’t help missing and thinking / About that kindly man / That one old winter time came / And took away from me”. Then, ” I’ve had my love / I’ve had my children / And I have so many memories”.

Among Mira Nair’s works before this, I’ve only watched Monsoon Wedding, so I expected low-key emotions, a fluid, unforced unravelling of events, and a wistful beauty to the mise en scène. So it was, but much more than that — there were great brushstrokes of gripping storytelling, piercing thrusts by heartfelt performances, and, I think, nary a false step taken in presenting the illusion that we are witnessing true lives — that we are genuinely approaching, sharing and coming to a mutual understanding of the meaning and meanderings of love and life. A must-watch.

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