Some of you probably know that I am a fan of reading film scripts. Why, you may ask. Well, an old friend introduced me to Drew’s Script-O-Rama and I was hooked. I have spent countless boring afternoons reading one script after another. In fact, there are films where the scripts have been so well-written – often, the films have hardly compared! My Best Friend’s Wedding, The English Patient, Sideways are some of them although I love Sideways, the film.
So I was reading the script of The Namesake, a film that I enjoyed (probably more so because Geetu didn’t like it one bit and my expectations were pretty low). I loved the performances of Kal Penn and Irrfan Khan, loved the way their relationship was depicted on screen, loved the coming-of-age of Gogol as it unfolded on screen, loved the camerawork. Then I started wondering about Sonia, Gogol’s sister. Wasn’t her life story significant? Didn’t she go through a similar coming-of-age experience? Did she share something special with her Mom/Dad? How did she come to terms with her mixed identity? Was it smooth sailing, or laden with uncertainty? Did she find her peace easily?
Why didn’t we see anything about that in the film?
The answer is straightforward. Gogol’s life was magical, it was special – only so because we were examining it through the lens of the story. His life had its beautiful moments, it had the shimmer of love, the glamor of lust, the pain of loss, the happiness of finding and being found. And we know that because we saw it. If only we had the opportunity to view Sonia’s life (or anyone else’s), we would have seen its loveliness.
Each life is magical, it really is. You just need to look closer.