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The Namesake

HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning

Mira Nair

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About the Movie

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


  • Reviews Counted: 128
  • Fresh: 111
  • Rotten: 17
  • Average Rating: 7.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Mira Nair's The Namesake conveys a palpable sense of people as living, breathing creatures who are far more complex than their words might indicate. – Stephen Holden, New York Times, Jul 16, 2008

Fresh: The Namesake has a deep, alluvial poetry to it, like a mighty river reaching the sea. It's mysterious and ordinary, insightful and banal, rambling and precise, and it is altogether unexpected. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, Mar 17, 2007

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

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.