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The Namesake: Book By Jhumpa Lahiri

1322 words - 5 pages

It’s pretty clear that film and literature are very different mediums and when you try to make one into the other, such as an adaptation, you’re going to have some things that are lost in translation and seen in a different light. When an original work is made into a movie, I think they’re kind of at a disadvantage because they only have a few hours to get the whole story across while also keeping the viewer intrigued by what is taking place on the screen right in front of their eyes. Movies are able to contain special effects, visuals, and music though which can impact a viewer and make a scene stay in their mind longer which is a plus side to being able to view something. Literature on the other hand, has a greater advantage. They can keep the reader entertained for a considerably long time and you’re able to get more information about people and events such as what a character is thinking or what is happening behind the scenes during a specific event. I understand that people are going to have different opinions when it comes to whether a book or film adaptation of a work is the best and it is not always going to be the same for each and every piece of work. One thing I think though, is that The Namesake in both the film and the movie, they’re both accurate and concise in the way that they relate to one another.
Both the movie adaptation and the original work, the book, deal with the same topic: struggling to find identity in a place that’s not really your own. For the most part, the book and movie coincide here and are kept the same. In the movie adaptation of this, Ashoke comes to New York as opposed to Boston. It’s a nice thing too because New York has the Queensboro Bridge which crosses over the East River and Hooghly in Calcutta (where he comes from) has the Howrah Bridge. It was good that that slight change was made because I think it helps compare the two different cultures; the one which he comes from and the one he moves into. They’re very different from one another. In the beginning of the film, Ashoke’s train has its accident and then it goes from that straight into his marriage with Ashima plus their process with migration and coming to the States. In the book, it opens with Gogol being born and then there’s a flashback moment where it talks about the accident and Ashoke’s marriage to Ashima. In the book, we hear about Ashoke and the accident and how he was rescued from the site of the wreck fairly early on even though it appears that Gogol doesn’t find out about all of that until much later on in time. I find it interesting though how the movie keeps it quiet to us, the viewers, how Ashoke was rescued from the accident site until the very same time when Gogol is learning about all of that. When you see Ashoke holding his son when he was a baby, he makes a comment about how being rescued from the train accident was the first he’s had occur to him in his life and then Gogol being born is the second.
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