The Namesake

Critics Consensus

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

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 135

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 64,299

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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.

Cast & Crew

Kal Penn
Gogol Ganguli
Tabu
Ashima Ganguli
Irrfan Khan
Ashoke Ganguli
Zuleikha Robinson
Moushumi Mazoomdar
Sahira Nair
Sonia Ganguli
Mira Nair
Director
Mira Nair
Producer
Ronnie Screwvala
Executive Producer
Yasushi Kotani
Executive Producer
Taizo Son
Executive Producer
Nitin Sawhney
Original Music
Frederick Elmes
Cinematographer
Allyson C. Johnson
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for The Namesake

Critic Reviews for The Namesake

All Critics (135) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (115) | Rotten (20)

  • Quote not available.

    November 16, 2011 | Rating: 3/5

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Quote not available.

    November 16, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Hank Sartin

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • What holds it together are the subtle loving performances by Tabu and Khan, both Bollywoood stars. They never overplay, never spell out what can be said in a glance or a shrug, communicate great passion very quietly.

    December 7, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It is a saga told in small pieces, a patchwork of short scenes that tumble after each other almost apologetically, as if they would love to linger a little longer, but there is too much to tell and only so much time in which to do it.

    April 22, 2007 | Full Review…
  • This poignant tale resonates wherever you are placed in the world.

    April 3, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Penn is just wrong for it.

    April 1, 2007 | Rating: 3/5

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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