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Last Updated: May 17, 2007 - 8:46:52 AM
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Flow of emotions draw crowds to 'The Namesake'
Apr 9, 2007 - 9:36:33 AM
The film opened in an additional 69 theatres in the last week of March in Dallas, Detroit, Hartford, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, Montreal, New Jersey, Oakland, Phoenix, San Diego and St. Louis.

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[RxPG] New Delhi, April 9 - The flow of emotions in Mira Nair's 'The Namesake', which has Tabu and Irrfan Khan in pivotal roles, seems to have struck the right chord with the audience as they continue to flock theatres to catch the film even a month after its release.

The film's box office performance in India continues to be strong with first week net box office collections estimated at Rs.12.6 million. It opened with 47 prints March 9 and the average earning from per print was approximately Rs.268,000. Not bad for a film of this genre.

'The Namesake' has turned out to be a crowd-puller because people find it easy to relate to the sentiments and emotions depicted in the film.

'You don't have to be an NRI to understand the gamut of emotions flowing in the film. Those emotions are universal. Most of us are too busy to communicate with our family. In fact, we take them for granted. But after watching 'The Namesake', I felt the need to communicate with my family,' said Manoj Singh, a Delhi-based professional.

Based on Jhumpa Lahiri's award winning novel of the same name, the film shows the journey of a Bengali couple, who move to New York City in the early 70s. It moves back and forth between Kolkata and New York.

'I wanted to return to making a small-scale, intimate and mobile film, one which is extraordinarily close to my own reality as a South Asian person living in America today. It encompasses, in a deep humane way, the tale of millions of us who have left one home for another, who have known what it is to combine the old ways with the new world, who have left the shadow of our parents to find ourselves for the first time,' US-based Mira Nair had said.

Despite the fact that the film does not conform to typical movie making style of narration - the film is presented in more photographic than fluid form - it has appealed to the audience and garnered a good collection.

'I wanted to film a dusky Bengali beauty against a Mark Rothko painting in a stark Manhattan space. I hoped to capture on film the moment we unexpectedly become adult, the strangeness of burying a parent in a foreign land that has now become home,' said Nair.

The film opened with 48 prints across India in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kanpur and Chandigarh.

In the next week, 12 prints were added and shown in more theatres. The total number of prints in the second week was raised to 59.

In the first week, 27 theatres were showing the film in Mumbai with 73 shows per day. It was upped the following week with 31 screens and 99 shows everyday.

The strongest markets for the film are Mumbai, Pune, Baroda, Hyderabad, Banglore, Chennai. The best opening was seen in Hyderabad with 100 percent collection.

'I liked the way Tabu has expressed her feelings and emotions in the film. They are not camouflaged. Not for once did we feel that Tabu or Irrfan were non-Bengalis because they got the right diction and depicted the typical Bengali characteristics in their performances,' Joutishman Dutta, a management student of Narsee Monji institute, Mumbai, told IANS.

The film appears to be doing best in cities with an intellectual audience. Initially, the collection in Goa was dismal but picked up later to gross 60 to 70 percent.

In the overseas market with gross earnings of $1.1 million, 'The Namesake' made it to the North American Top 20 in its second weekend. Not only that, the film broke the 10-year opening week box office record at the Paris Theatre in New York City by grossing $101,929 in its first seven days.

In the first week it was shown in only six theatres but later 41 more cinema halls in Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, Denver, Philadelphia, San Jose, Seattle and Vancouver started showing the film. It added more theatres in the existing markets of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto.

The film opened in an additional 69 theatres in the last week of March in Dallas, Detroit, Hartford, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, Montreal, New Jersey, Oakland, Phoenix, San Diego and St. Louis.

'I was not as disappointed as I was with 'Da Vinci Code'. Before watching 'The Namesake', I had read Jhumpa Lahiri's book. Though at some places I felt the flow in the movie was not as good as the book but at the same time I enjoyed the movie,' said Shagufta, an aspiring journalist.

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