The Namesake

2006, Drama, 2h 2m

136 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

An ambitious exploration of the immigrant experience with a talented cast that serves the material well. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

After moving from Calcutta to New York, members of the Ganguli family maintain a delicate balancing act between honoring the traditions of their native India and blending into American culture. Although parents Ashoke (Irrfan Khan) and Ashima (Tabu) are proud of the sacrifices they make to give their offspring opportunities, their son Gogol (Kal Penn) strives to forge his own identity without forgetting his heritage.

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Critic Reviews for The Namesake

Audience Reviews for The Namesake

  • Jun 15, 2013
    "The Namesake" is an emotional, heart-wrenching film filled with beauty and subtlety. Mira Nair obviously feels very close to the source material because her direction suits it perfectly. As well, the cast is quite exceptional. Kal Penn is solid in the lead role, but the real strength comes from Irrfan Khan and Tabu in their supporting performances. They will break your heart.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • May 01, 2012
    A beautiful journey through places, times, and mainly the souls of a group of fascinating people, struggling to find themselves in the midst of all the changes that come with life.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2011
    Sad, sad movie. I like how the movie plays out and share the closeness we share with our parents. Great acting too by Tabu, Irfan and Kal Penn. Recommended!
    Mesh B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 17, 2011
    This film, about a young Bengali American wrestling with a cultural identity crisis, is a nice take on the culture clash/cultural identity film, and also marks a nice change of pace for Kal Penn. True, he had a serious role on House, but there was also a lot of humor.This is a more mature work for him, even though Gogol isn't too far removed from Kumar. Gogol is more smart and serious though. All the cliched words like touching, heartwarming, etc apply here, and the film hits some familair beats, but it's not totally unoriginal thanks to how everything is conducted and presented. This is obviously a labor of love for Nair, and she does a great job, especially since she can relate to the material. All of the perforances are terrific, but Penn, Tabu, and Khan are the real strong points here. Give this one a shot. It's far from brilliant or new, but it is well played, and gives some welcome portrayals of India and Indian culture.
    Chris W Super Reviewer

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