April 29, 2007

The Namesake, by Mira Nair

Jumping between the equally colourful and vibrant cities of Calcutta and New York, THE NAMESAKE is a moving drama which follows the Ganguli family, who come to the U.S. from India 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.

On the heels of their arranged marriage, Ashoke and Ashima (Indian stars Irrfan Khan and Tabu) jet off from sweltering Calcutta to a wintry New York where they begin their new life together. Virtual strangers to one another and with Ashima now living in a new and very strange land, their relationship takes a positive turn when Ashima gives birth to a son. Under pressure to name him quickly, Ashoke settles on Gogol, after the famous Russian author – a name that serves as a link to a secret past and, Ashoke hopes, a better future.

As a first-generation American teenager, Gogol (Kal Penn) must learn to tread a razor-thin line between his Bengali roots and his American birthright in the search for his own identity. It’s a difficult journey, full of both comic and painfully revelatory consequences . . . until Gogol begins to see the links between the world his parents left behind and the new world that lies in front of him.

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