New Delhi: Mira Nair is gearing up for the shooting of Johnny Depp-starrer Shantaram, but with The Namesake releasing in the US on the March 8, the director was more than happy talking about how Jhumpa Lahiri's book compelled her to transform it into a film within nine months of reading the book.
"I just had this bolt of lightning when I read the book and I never expected to make a film, or look for another film. I was already on my way to finishing Vanity Fair and I had two other films and so on, but I had just buried a beloved person to me and in a country that was not her home, in this country, and I was in that grief when I read The Namesake and it spoke to me - Jhumpa's (Lahiri) story - so acutely," says Mira.
The Namesake tells a tale of a family moving from Kolkata to New York and the struggle to cope with a new world without forgetting the old.
For the director, the film has an emotional and universal appeal that provides an opportunity for the Indians to see an honest and "hyper-real" portrayal of American life and for non-Indians to see life through the eyes of Indians.
“And this film is about parents and children and so it's not at all foreign in any way to any experience that is central in our lives, so India and the US -- are people in both places and I think that it will have meaning, in the sense that people will really know what the other side looks like," says Mira.
Bringing two very different cultures face-to-face with each other is just one of the ends that Mira achieved with The Namesake but the film is still not finalised for an Indian release.