This is probably the first GREAT movie I have seen this year. Sure, 300 was awesome! But it was because that's in a league of its own. This movie, however, really grabs you from the start.
The story takes place over the course of nearly 30 years and is filled with lessons along the way. The canvas is tinged with shades of tradition, pride, discovery and tragedy. But mostly, it is filled with a realness that seeps through and leaves you feeling like you've peered into the lives of a family.
Gogol is a young man with an identity crisis. His name has been the reason he's been taunted and teased his whole life in American. His parents, both traditional Indians, must choose between raising a child the way they were brought up in India or let their son be "free" to become whatever he chooses.
Along the way, there are pitfalls in Gogol's life and mistakes that must be mended. Ultimately, though, he realizes that home is where the heart is (no matter how far away home may be,) and that sometimes you've got to hold on to the memory of being in a place where there was no where further to go.
This was a great movie about retracing your steps in your family lineage and finding out who you really are and where you came from. What's the story behind a name and what's the reasoning for the choice made along the way.
The movie is beautifully crafted by Mira Nair (who is one of my favorite directors.) Her previous work on Monsoon Wedding and (most notably--and most recently) Vanity Fair is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the depth that a woman's perspective can bring to a story such as this one. The movie is filled with poignant moments of truth, courage and brutal honesty.
The acting performances were all top-notch. Standing out are those of Kal Penn as the troubled Gogol and Irrfan Khan as his sullen, but resigned, mother. This one should not be missed!