Jhumpa Lahiri’s 2003 novel The Namesake was an entertaining, deeply moving, altogether illuminating look at South Asian life along the Cambridge-Yale-Manhattan corridor. The book provides the basis for Mira Nair’s new film, and although the movie is more-or-less faithful to the events of the novel, it misses the spirit of Lahiri’s work. There’s a haunted quality to the book that eludes Nair and her screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala. And the love of literature, so central to Lahiri’s vision, hardly registers here at all.
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