Overlooked FILM on DVD: The Namesake and Goldfish Memory

The Namesake

Impeccable acting, a stellar cast and directing by Mira Nair [Monsoon Wedding and Vanity Fair] propels this best-seller by Jhumpa Lahiri. The story revolves around Gogol, a mid-twenties architect who has been fighting against his traditional Indian family and heritage. He gets pulled back in by an unforeseen family crisis and it changes his outlook and future forever. Kal Penn is remarkable in this role. He easily moves Gogol from defiant to thoughtful and the audience truly cares about his journey. The stunning and expressive Bollywood star Tabu plays Gogol’s mother. From Brooklyn to Manhattan to India, Gogol attempts to discover his individuality and to reconcile his new self with the old fashioned ideology of his immigrant parents.

Goldfish Memory

I don’t really like to use words like love. I love you really means, do you love me and I own you and all that crap.
Clara to lover Angie

This witty, thoughtful and comical film revolves around a group of 20 and 30-somethings in Dublin. Their paths cross as they weave in and out of relationships. While each has a different idea of what is right and good for them (one week fling, marriage, long term live-in situation), they all believe that love is an important component in their lives. It kicks off when Clara (Fiona O’ Shaughnessy) sees her boyfriend (a poetry Professor who is constantly falling for his students) kissing another woman. Clara then dates television reporter Angie (Flora Montgomery) but really is not quite sure whom she wants to date and at 22, would like to keep her options open. Angie wants a long-term relationship and soon finds one and starts to plan for a child. Her best friend Tom (Sean Campion) is trying to lure a guy away from the woman he has been dating. There are definitely unexpected twists in this well-written film. The dialogue is sharp and rings true for those currently navigating the choppy waters of a new or not-so-new relationship in all its intricacies, flaws and challenges. In the same vein as Intermission or Love Actually, Goldfish Memory jumps back and forth between characters, connects them all in some way and then rounds out full circle. One grows to really like these characters and care about them at the end. Goldfish Memory is a sparkling gem of a film.

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