The Namesake


Action / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Glenne Headly Photo
Glenne Headly as Lydia
Brooke Smith Photo
Brooke Smith as Sally
Kal Penn Photo
Kal Penn as Nikhil a.k.a. Gogol
Jacinda Barrett Photo
Jacinda Barrett as Maxine
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.09 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 2 min
P/S 2 / 9
2.25 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
2 hr 2 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by EUyeshima9 / 10

Truly Universal and Cathartic Adaptation of Lahiri's Time-Spanning Novel

Meticulously observed and wonderfully heartfelt, this time-spanning 2007 family dramedy represents a return to form for director Mira Nair, who faltered somewhat with 2004's elaborate "Vanity Fair". This one is also a literary adaptation but this time from a contemporary best-seller by Jhumpa Lahiri, who wrote an emotionally drawn story about first generation Bengali immigrants to the United States and their U.S.-born children. It's an intricate book full of careful nuances, and Nair, along with screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala, captures most of them in a most loving manner. The story speaks fluently to the universal struggle to extricate ourselves from the obligation of family and a perceived enslavement to the past. Nair and Taraporevala manage to transcend the necessarily episodic nature of the novel to make it an involving journey toward self-acceptance.

The film initially focuses on Ashoke Ganguli and his arranged marriage to Ashima, a classically trained singer. The young couple move from Calcutta in 1977 to Queens in order for him to pursue his career as an electrical engineer. The adjustment is difficult, especially for Ashima in assimilating into the often cold U.S. culture, and these quiet scenes show a keen eye for subtle observation. They quickly have two children in succession, son Gogol and daughter Sonia. Gogol's name is the key plot point as he was inadvertently after Ashoke's favorite writer, Nikholai Gogol, and this is revealed to have greater significance as the story unfolds. Eventually, the film switches the perspective to Gogol's as he grows up, changes his name to Nikhil and starts his life as a yuppie architect in Manhattan.

At the same, the film does not abandon Ashoke and Ashima as they remain significant figures in shaping Gogol's destiny, especially as the impact of a tragic turn brings unexpected changes. The cathartic aspect of these scenes is what makes the film powerful. Moreover, with her film-making experience in her native India and the U.S., Nair brings a seamless fluency to both locales. The movie falters a bit toward the end when it starts to ramble and feel pat, but the story's old world gravitas rescues it just in time. Beforehand I was convinced Kal Penn would be the spoiler in this film, but he gives a sharp, dedicated performance as Gogol. Poised to be taken seriously as an actor even amid his White Castle and Van Wilder movies, he seems a bit exaggerated only in the early teenage scenes which recall those other movies.

However, it is the superb work of Irfan Khan and Tabu as his parents that make the film soar. Both bring a level of assurance and compassion that ground the film completely, especially Tabu who makes the seemingly modest character arc of Ashima really striking. Playing yet another variation of the spoiled American girl, Jacinda Barrett again proves how fearless an actress she can be in exposing the vanity and ignorance of Maxine, Gogol's first serious girlfriend. As Moushumi, the Bengali girl who comes with the family's seal of approval, Zuleikha Robinson has a ripe presence to match her character's aspiring worldliness. Cinematographer Frederick Elmes and production designer Stephanie Carroll provide masterful work in capturing the diverse flavors of the different locales. This film is for anyone who has struggled to forge his or her own identity only to find the need to embrace the past, especially those of us who have parents who displayed the courage to move from their native lands.

Reviewed by safenoe8 / 10

The Indian-American experience

The Namesake is a compelling movie that looks at the life of an Indian family in the USA, and was produced a couple of years before Piyush "Bobby" Jindal was elected as Governor of Louisiana, and Nimrata "Nikki" Haley (née Randhawa) was elected Governor of South Carolina.

It also was released just as Indian-Americans commenced their lock on the Spelling Bee.

Anyway, the part where Gogol's wife started cheating on him seemed a bit abrupt, and there appeared to be no real backstory to this. Maybe it got left out of the editing perhaps I guess. Anyway, I'd love to see a sequel to The Namesake with Gogol navigating his way through politics perhaps.

Reviewed by evanston_dad7 / 10

Admirable, But Suffers the Fate of Book to Screen Translations

"The Namesake" is an admirable film, and it offers an interesting glimpse into Indian culture, but it feels too much like what it is -- an adaptation from a novel. I haven't even read the book version, but even I could tell that the movie was racing to touch on all the major plot points, and sacrificing along the way all the nuances and subtleties that I have no doubt were in the written version.

The film tells the story of the only son of an immigrant Indian couple who grows up American and doesn't learn to appreciate his heritage until a momentous life event teaches him a valuable lesson. In the hands of Mira Nair, who has made some lovely films ("Monsoon Wedding"),it's a never less than sensitive and thoughtful movie, but by the film's end, I felt that everyone was racing through the plot in order to squeeze everything in, as if they knew they were running out of time and wanted to hit all the high notes. I also think the movie would have benefited from a less linear approach to its narrative. It's broken into roughly two halves, one showing the immigrant experience of the parents and the other the upbringing of the son. But blending the two stories more fluidly together would have had a greater cinematic impact, regardless of how it was told in the novel.

One thing this movie definitely has in its favor, though, is the beautiful Indian actress Tabu, who gives a wonderful performance as Ashima, the mother who endures through hardship and anchors the film. She's the heart and soul of the movie, and imbues it with a tremendous amount of warmth.

Grade: B

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