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The Namesake (2006)

Cast: Kal Penn, Kal Penn, Tabu, more...
Director: Mira Nair, Mira Nair
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Drama, Romance, Coming of Age , Weepies
Running Time: 122 min.
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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A couple coming to terms with living in a new culture discover their troubles are compounded by their son in this drama from filmmaker Mira Nair. Ashoke (Irfan Khan) and Ashima (Tabu) are a young couple who are brought together in an arranged marriage and soon leave Calcutta to seek their fortune in America. As the couple becomes accustomed to one another, they learn to deal with the coolness and superficiality of life in New York, even as they revel in the opportunities the city offers them. Before long, Ashima gives birth to a baby boy, and pressed to choose a name, they dub the infant Nikhil, though he soon picks up the nickname Gogol, after Ashoke's favorite author. By the time the child is old enough to attend school, he insists upon being called Gogol at all times, and he displays little interest in his Indian heritage. Several years on, Gogol has decided he wants to be called Nick (and is now played by Kal Penn) and has become a thoroughly Americanized teenager, openly rebelling against his parents, smoking marijuana in his room, and dating Maxine (Jacinda Barrett), a preppy blonde from a wealthy family. Ashoke and Ashima are uncertain about how to deal with their son's attempts to cut himself off from their culture, but Nick begins expressing some uncertainty himself when he meets Moushumi (Zuleikha Robinson), a beautiful girl who also comes from a family of Indian expatriates. The Namesake was adapted from the bestselling novel by Jhumpa Lahiri. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

India/U.S. Mix by talltale December 1, 2007 - 3:07 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Not a patch on her wonderful "Monsoon Wedding," THE NAMESAKE is one of Mira Nair's more obvious and clunky efforts. Nothing about it seems organic--not the story line nor the characters, all of which and whom seem manufactured. It's all very Lifetime woman's television-level. The cast is as good as possible under these deadly circumstances, with Kal Penn doing a very nice turn to little avail. The movie does move relatively quickly--thank goodness--considering how many events happen here. Nair leaves out a lot of the stuff we already know (or could figure out) as she goes from meeting to marriage to birth, growth and so forth. If only we could come to care a little bit more. People who read and loved the novel on which the film is based probably will; for the rest of us, we'll have to wait for Nair's next one.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.47)
17 Votes
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