Monday, November 23, 2009

Movie Reviews - Good Morning, Night and The Namesake

A couple more movie reviews for the Orbit Terrarum Film mini-challenge:

Good Morning, Night (Italy)

Plot summary from IMDB: The 1978 kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro, president of the most important political party in Italy at the time, Democrazia Cristiana, as seen from the perspective of one of his assailants -- a conflicted young woman in the ranks of the Red Brigade.

My thoughts:

I thought this was an interesting look at a terrorist act from the perspective of the terrorist. Not knowing much about the political landscape of Italy in the 1970s, I don't know whether or not Moro was a good guy or bad guy, but can assume that kidnapping a political rival is never a good way to go. The lead actress was stunning and powerful in her role of brainwashed terrorist slowly beginning to feel sympathy for the man she helped to imprison. Parts were strangely surreal, and I found these to be jarring, as the tone of much of the movie was somber and tense. I'm interested enough to seek out books on the subject. Recommended if the subject is something that grabs your attention.

The Namesake (India)

Plot summary from IMDB: American-born Gogol, the son of Indian immigrants, wants to fit in among his fellow New Yorkers, despite his family's unwillingness to let go of their traditional ways.

My thoughts:

Well, the book was better. (Who's surprised?) In fairness, this was a very good movie, well adapted and very true to the tone and content of the novel. I felt that Tabu, the beautiful actress who played Ashima, was perfectly cast. She portrayed such a range of emotions, from lonely and frightened new bride to startled and disapproving mother to heartbroken widow. I thought the relationship between Ashima and Ashoke was wonderfully captured, and felt it was the strongest part of the movie. I was a bit disappointed by the treatment of Gogol's name - his struggle with coming to terms with his identity was such a central part of the novel, and I didn't think the movie gave that part of the story enough emphasis. Overall, though, I was pleased, and would recommend the movie.


A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

I also preferred Namesake book to the movie; however, I thought the movie rendition wasn't bad or anything. Just couldn't possibly go into near enough detail. I'm so glad I discovered Jhumpa Lahiri!

Zibilee said...

I liked the Namesake as well. I agree that the book was better, but like you said, it usually always is! Great review!