The big difference between Deepa Mehta's 'Water' and Mira Nair's 'The Namesake' is that while Mehta has got the technique right, her film lacks the soul that the latter film possesses...and the ability to see (and hence show) an oft-repeated story through new eyes.
And Mehta failed big time on her casting. Nair got it bang-on.
Thank you, Mira Nair, for the unbridled passion with which you show us Calcutta, for the childlike desire to 'not be left out' leading to Ashoke and Ashima's first disagreement, for the humour lurking in Gogol aka Nikhil's eyes, for the tears that flow when Ashoke dies and his widow shares her grief in loud sobs with a silent night.
Thank you for the kind of cinematic experience that needs no critics' opinions to reinforce your own.
Thank you for not missing out on those things that most filmmakers either miss or take for granted - nuance and the message in between the lines.