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The Namesake ()

directed by
featuring Kal Penn, Tabu, Irfan Khan, Jacinda Barrett, Zuleikha Robinson

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, Rovi Hide synopsis

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  • 1. DVD, 20th Century Fox / Fox Searchlight, 2007

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    Description: Kal Penn, Tabu, Irfan Khan, Jacinda Barrett, Zuleikha Robinson....

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  • 2. DVD, 20th Century Fox / Fox Searchlight, 2007

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    Description: Sandip Deb, Ruma Guha Thakurta, Jagannath Guha, Sahira Nair,...

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    Description: Irfan Khan, Kal Penn, Jagannath Guha, Ruma Guha Thakurta, Tabu....

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    Description: Irfan Khan, Kal Penn, Jagannath Guha, Ruma Guha Thakurta, Tabu....

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    Description: Sandip Deb, Ruma Guha Thakurta, Jagannath Guha, Sahira Nair,...

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    Description: Sandip Deb, Ruma Guha Thakurta, Jagannath Guha, Sahira Nair,...

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Reviews of The Namesake

Overall customer rating: 3.000
fiddler

Expected More, but Good Nevertheless

by fiddler on Jan 19, 2009

When I watched it, I was left disappointed. The previews made this movie seem so enticing and unreal (in a good way), that I guess I had high hopes coming into it. I definitely think this is the movie to appreciate with the right mood. It's one that requires a lot of mind and reflection, so if you're in a goofy mood, those won't be your cup of tea. This film is beautiful in trying to explain the struggles of immigrants to a new foreign, more modern land. The clash of culture and tradition to the inviting temptations of secularism, materialism, and modernization. Tabu was excellent in this. Sometimes I thought this movie was far too quiet though. When I think of culture clash of Indian-American, I think of something a lot louder (I come from experience). So I guess it was too subtle to be real. But then again, that's what makes this different from other Indian culture clash movies. This is the mental aspect. So although I recognize its merits and strengths, I myself didn't enjoy it as I wanted. That's to be fair.

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