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The Namesake

  PG-13 HD Closed Captioning

Mira Nair

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Plot Summary

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.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

86%
  • Reviews Counted: 128
  • Fresh: 110
  • Rotten: 18
  • Average Rating: 7.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: What holds it together are the subtle loving performances by Tabu and Khan, both Bollywoood stars. They never overplay, never spell out what can be said in a glance or a shrug, communicate great passion very quietly. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: The Namesake is three-fourths of a fine film. Which is, of course, far better than most. – Tom Long, Detroit News, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Mira Nair has made one of the best movies about the immigrant American experience ever. And even if you know nothing about India and its customs, The Namesake is not a movie you have to get into. – Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Intelligent and insightful, The Namesake celebrates family in a unique way. – Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 12, 2007

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Well Made Film

This was a well made film. Most Indians could relate to this movie, but for non-Indians it would be an interesting view of the tension that occurs between parents and their children when they immigrate to a new country.

Watch this film. It is a hidden gem.

Visually stunning! A strong heartfelt story. The characters are so believable. A beautiful opportunity to get a glimpse of the Eastern Indian culture.

A Love Story of a Different Sort

This film was both touching and captivating, which are hard qualities to put together. The story between Gogol and his family, his father in particular, will make you want to pick up the phone and call your parents just to tell them how much you love them. A poignant and beautiful love story of a different sort.