Directed by Mira Nair. U.S.. 2007. PG-13. 122 minutes.
Fri., May 25, 2007 thru Thu., May 31, 2007
Based on the best-selling Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, Mira (MONSOON WEDDING, SALAAM BOMBAY, MISSISSIPPI MASALA) Nairs latest is an emotional tale that follows two generations of a Bengali family whose loyalties are divided between Calcutta and New York.In 1977 India, Ashoke Ganguli (Irfan Khan) agrees to an arranged marriage with lively singer Ashima (Tabu), and the couple relocate to New York where they start a family. Jumping between the equally colorful and vibrant cities of Calcutta and New York, THE NAMESAKE is a family drama about a very different kind of contemporary American family, who came to the U.S. in order to experience a world of limitless opportunities-only to be confronted with the perils and confusion of trying to build a meaningful life in a baffling new society. As the years pass, the Gangulis son Gogol (Kal Penn), named after Ashokes favorite author, grows into a promising architect, and for a time, turns his back on his heritage. Ultimately the film asks the question: what does it mean to be a hyphenated American? A glory on a huge, colorful canvas. Strikingly original, heartfelt, superbly acted and profoundly satisfying. -Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal