The Namesake

( 9 )

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Gifted Indian filmmaker Mira Nair shifts focus to a subject that should interest Americans of Indian descent -- and, in truth, any immigrant eager to maintain his or her ethnic roots. Nair's The Namesake follows an Indian national Irfan Khan and his arranged bride Tabu during their first fledgling months in snowy New York, eventually transitioning into the story of their adult son Kal Penn coming to grips with his unusual first name. However, this one-sentence synopsis hints at why The Namesake can't achieve greatness -- it can't decide on either a main character or a main story. Nair has plenty to say about the cultural identity issues that permeate the narrative, and her usual confident filming techniques bolster her observations. But the film feels too diffuse with its variety of agendas and perspectives. The central idea -- at least, the idea that spawned the title -- is that Penn's Gogol seeks to grow into harmony with being named after Russian author Nikolai Gogol, whose book his father was clutching when he survived a train wreck back in India. But this incident doesn't have the metaphorical punch it's supposed to have. One would think the book his father was reading was somewhat random, and even then, it was a Russian author, not an Indian one, so the relevance to his Indian heritage is absent. Essentially, Gogol's identity crisis is just one of a half-dozen short stories The Namesake wants to tackle. The result is an overlong running time and a sense of exhaustion by the finish. Despite this, there is much to recommend about The Namesake, particularly Penn's decision to go arthouse after such frat-house efforts as Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/13/2009
  • UPC: 024543628507
  • Original Release: 2006
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English, Español
  • Time: 1:54:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kal Penn Gogol Ganguli
Tabu Ashima
Irfan Khan Ashoke
Jacinda Barrett Maxine
Zuleikha Robinson Moushumi Mazumdar
Gretchen Egolf Astrid
Pallavi Shah Kajol Mashi
Technical Credits
Mira Nair Director, Producer
Arjun Bhasin Costumes/Costume Designer
Stephanie Carroll Production Designer
Tanmoy Chakroborty Art Director
Linda Cohen Musical Direction/Supervision
Michael Decasper Asst. Director
Lori Keith Douglas Co-producer
Frederick Elmes Cinematographer
Dylan Gray Asst. Director
Allyson C. Johnson Editor
Tess Joseph Casting
Yukie Kito Co-producer
Yasushi Kotani Executive Producer
Suttirat Anne Larlarb Art Director
Ed Novick Sound/Sound Designer
Lydia Dean Pilcher Producer
Nitin Sawhney Score Composer
Ronnie Screwvala Executive Producer
Zarina Screwvala Co-producer
Taiso Son Executive Producer
Dinaz Stafford Associate Producer
Sooni Taraporevala Screenwriter
Cindy Tolan Casting
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Namesake
1. See the World (Main Titles) [:26]
2. Introductions [5:31]
3. The Wedding [1:09]
4. New Home, New Life [2:36]
5. Learning to Love [1:34]
6. Daknam [3:09]
7. Land of Opportunity [3:16]
8. A Death in the Family [3:07]
9. What's in a Name? [1:27]
10. Graduation Present [3:33]
11. Homecoming [2:36]
12. The Taj [1:29]
13. Nikhil [3:41]
14. Separate Lives [2:40]
15. Every Day a Gift [1:56]
16. At the Lake [3:11]
17. Alone [2:04]
18. Just a Stomachache [3:34]
19. In Mourning [3:54]
20. The Eleventh Day [:42]
21. "Call Her If You Want" [5:15]
22. Tradition [5:28]
23. Two Worlds [1:14]
24. Advice From a Friend [3:46]
25. Not Enough [1:23]
26. Farewell [2:06]
27. The Journey [1:52]
28. Bliss/End Titles [5:31]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Namesake
   Play
   Language Selection
      Audio
         English 5.1 Dolby Surround
         Spanish Dolby Surround
         Commentary by Director Mira Nair
      Subtitles
         English
         Spanish
         French
         None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Commentary by Director Mira Nair: On/Off
      Deleted Scenes
         Optional Commentary by Director Mira Nair: On/Off
         Play All
         Ashoke Looks at Baby Gogol
         "This Is So Not You, Mo"
         Mo Visits Her Mother
      The Anatomy of the Namesake: A Class at Columbia University's Graduate Film School
      Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character With Kal Penn
      Kolkata Love Poem
      Photography As Inspiration
      Theatrical Trailer
      Trailers
         The Flying Scotsman
         Water
         In America
         Blind Dating
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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