The Namesake - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Namesake Reviews

Page 2 of 226
September 5, 2014
One of the few movies that have made me cry. The tale is beautifully acted, directed and produced.
½ August 31, 2014
The Namesake is a solid drama that combines many themes. Anchored by some terrific acting, this story follows an arranged Indian couple that moves to America. Kal Penn stars as their son, Gogul Ganguli, who develops into an Americanized teenager that has a difficult time accepting his Indian heritage. I'll admit, I was a little hesitant about Kal Penn in a serious role, but he does a fantastic job and is actually an underrated actor. As always, Irfan Khan is terrific and has really become one of my favorites over the past few years. I do feel like this film loses a bit of steam in the second half, but it's definitely a heartfelt film that I'd recommend.
August 15, 2014
The truest portrayal of Hindu life in America. You can take the India out of a man, bu as in any religion, the Hindu upbringing remains embedded in the soul..
I especially relate to this film as my most beautiful gir friend in CA went through something so similar. that I thought dibs and dabs were taken from her life as she dated a Hindi man who swore everlasting love.
When it came down to the nitty gritty, only another Hindu woman would do, because of the very strong heritage, caste system and the power of the mother.
Her Hindu boyfriend protested too much. He said, "So unrealistic" when not a year later he did to her what Kal Penn did to his American love.
To the man who said Kal Penn was miscast, I could n't disagree more.
The casting was perfect and spot on the cultural differences of the American-Hindi and the American-American.
A mustsee....and then you can see the dad in the wonderful film :The Life of Pi". Just have an entire box next to youwith Pi.
It was finally the talented Ang Lee's time to win the Oscar. Well deserved. I\
I usually disagree with the Oscar choices. This was one of the few times they got it right.
August 14, 2014
Another New York film, to follow 'Margaret', watched recently. This is an ensemble piece, and covers one family's history over a lifetime. Consequently it moves quickly and also flits between New York and India. Sensitively produced and presented, it's absorbing and well worthwhile. Touching without bathos, and with very minimal sex and violence. Like.
August 12, 2014
The Namesake is a well-written drama that stays nicely paced from beginning to end. Great acting and overall a pleasant film to watch.
½ July 2, 2014
This movie is a tale of a couple Ashoke and Ashima who meet in India and are arranged to marry. They travel to America where Ashima is culture shocked and she is shocked at the way Ashoke treats her, with care and kindness. Ashmia gives birth to her first son who they decide to name Gogel, after an author his father admired. They did not want to name the baby right away for their grandmothers choose the name,and in Indian culture they sometimes do not name the children for many years. In the hospital they let them know that in America the baby is not allowed to leave the hospital without a birth certificate and without a name they cannot create one. They decide to chose Gogel and later on gave him his good name which becomes "Nikhul". When Gogel starts to go to school he tells his teacher he wishes to becalled "Gogel" instead of "Nikhul" and that is what his good name becomes. The years go by and once Gogel is in high school as a senior at the point of graduating, you can really see how people are bullied on their culture by the way the kids in his class make fun of him. The gratify on their mailbox when they return from India also shows the racism people have in America towards people of other cultures and ethnicity. When Gogel goes to college, he meets Maxine who is American and his parents are accepting of her and as Maxine is of them. A short while after Ashoke, Gogels father moves to cleveland, where he dies of a heart attack. When his father dies that is when Gogel realizes Maxine and him are to different. He ends up marrying a girl of his own culture who he met as a teenager, but shortly after marrying the girl cheats on him. The girl speaks of how she does not want to like her mother, stuck. I watched this movie for my world religions class, I can see how many things in this movie relate to the things I read in our book called "invitation to world religions" by Jeffrey Brodd and others. While in the movie they do not focus on the religion but more on the culture. In the book it emphasizes how Marriage, death, and the role of women are important in the culture. Such as when Gogels father dies, they show the rituals and the spreading of the ashes. Also they show how important marriage is and how marriage is especially important in samskara. Women are shown to have the same roles and to be housewives but you can see how the culture grows by how Ashmia's daughter Sonia goes to California and lives on her own. Overall I enjoyed this movie and I got a better insight into Indian culture.
May 28, 2014
The movie the Namesake is about an Indian family who makes a move from India to New York. The family consists of the two parents Ashoke and Ashima and their two children Gogol and Sonia. The parents are immigrants and the children are American born. The basic plot of the movie revolves around the son Gogol and his lack of Indian heritage and traditions. He seems to be more focused on the American traditions and does not connect or understand his parents and Indian background. Before he begins his college journey to Yale, Gogol takes a trip to India where he is able to better experience and open up to his cultural background. Upon completing college, he begins his architectural job, changes his name, and falls in love with a wealthy white woman named Maxine. His parents are not very receptive to the ways of American dating and seem to be hesitant with Maxine. However, Gogol seems to develop a better relationship and closeness with Maxine's family than his own. There is a moment in the movie where Ashoke tells Gogol how they came about naming him and it is very touching. He chose his name after his favorite author and this will link to the book and his travels towards the end. Shortly after this moment Ashoke dies and Gogol is grief stricken and in being so, he tries to become more linked to his Indian heritage and live a life more like that of which his father would have wanted. His relationship with Maxine struggles and eventually dissolves through this transformation. However, he meets a fellow Indian woman through family friends and they marry. This does not last long because she has an affair and the marriage is ended. After all of this Gogol finds himself back at home with his mother to pack up and this is when he finally finds and reads the book his father gave him upon graduation. The book truly inspires him and creates a great bond with his culture and native background. He decides to travel the world and reconnect.
April 17, 2014
Maybe being a Punjabi male born outside my original homeland, I can sympathize with this film much more than most people, but personally, I thought this was a beautiful film, it captured the sentiments beautifully, it was clear as day, yet the ravages were apparent underneath the layer, it was really a story about family and the huge gaps there is, the apparent ones and yet the beauty of life as you have it, a movie that is more pragmatic than most sub-continental families would allow, because very few would accept a spouse outside the race, but yet, we really see the beauty of family here, a family drama this is.

Second Viewing: I love the concept of family here, beautiful. Heartbreaking and a powerful rendition of diaspora families and problems.
½ February 11, 2014
an intimate and poignant tale of a family's diaspora and their life cycle in America. very well acted by all parties
½ November 24, 2013
This movie is about a Bengali man who moves back to his hometown to meet his new bride that was arranged for the both of them whether they agreed to it or not. His wife name is Ashima who happens to be very beautiful and the husbands name is Ashoke whom happens to be not the most attractive but everything else about him says that he's a good man and very smart, Ashoke is an engineer who received his degree in the USA. After the wedding Ashoke then moves his wife to New York which seems very foreign to her but she soon adapts to the place as well as to her new husband whom she barely knows but soon falls in love with.

Ashima and Ashoke finally becomes intimate together and creates a baby boy and shortly after there was a girl. The first born son name was Gogol and the daughters name was Sonia. Gogol and his sister both experienced racism, work and marriage in New York. Gogol was the more rebellious one of the two and because he was raised in New York it was more difficult for him to adapt to his cultures traditions but once the tragedy happens to his father he begins to honor his family traditions by shaving his head and wearing different clothing and also marrying a women of his same culture whom later he finds have been very deceitful. Gogol in the end comes across this book that his father gave him that made him realize that he wants to get on a train like the old days and travel the world to find his own way.His sister ends up getting married but to someone of a different race who makes her happy which is outside of the tradition but is excepted when other ways of life is introduced.

This movie relates to world religions dealing with the Jainism way of living. In Jainism Worship occurs publicly at stone temples or at home at wooden shrines resembling the temple. Worship rituals may include chanting mantras, gazing at images of the gods (puja) or anointing such images. At the beginning of the movie it showed scenes where Ashima was chanting mantras in the stone temples amongst a group. Also in Jainism they do not wear shoes and they do not touch any person of the opposite sex. In the movie when the father passed away when the guess entered the house they all took their shoes off at the door. Also another example in the movie of Jainism is that Ashoke never had sex with Ashima until they became married. Gogol did the total opposite which had a lot to do with his growing up in the USA and not wanting to abide by his cultures way of life.Overall this was a great movie and it showed how you take two cultures way of life and combine them and even though it can be difficult it can also be life changing.
November 9, 2013
I'm really conflicted about this movie, because it's so perfectly true of how the Indian immigrant experience is--it captures perfectly each character in each generation--but at the same time it is so defeatist, and the story is so similar to my family's that it scares me, and that prevents me from giving it the five star rating it deserves for truth like no other movie has ever dared to show. Every Indian-American must see this film.
October 11, 2013
i read the book years ago and i liked it coz of its refreshing tone but this film is like a fast-forward version of book that loses the rhythm of the book. plus weak actors were chosen to play the role of Gogol and Moushumi .
October 10, 2013
Although Film is good, go for Book instead its much more fulfilling
½ October 5, 2013
OMG. totally loved it. its one i could watch over n over n over n over n over n over.....
September 29, 2013
I saw The Namesake. I had recorded it from the Sundance Channel. It is about a family whose mom and dad immigrated here from a town with rich cultural and religious traditions. The main protagonists are the mom, who ages in the film from approximately 20 to 50, and her son (the older of her two kids). Its a delightful (though not without very sad moments) coming of age story for both the mom and her son, with the immigration occurring in the 1970s and the town from which they immigrated being in India. Even though the family is Indian, I bet you will be saying, "That's us" or "Just like what happened to me." There is even a moment when the dad essentially asks (while knowing the answer) the mom, (and echoing the question posed in the great American musical "Fiddler on the Roof,") "Do you love me." A beautiful movie. I give this movie a 10.
September 23, 2013
It's an interesting story for a movie that can get really slow if you don't give it the proper attention. Similar to the Perks of Being a Wallflower, it has less of a plot and more of the feeling of "a snapshot in the life". The depiction of the struggle of cultural identity seems real and genuine, but the lack of a solid plot made the whole thing fall somewhat flat for me.
September 21, 2013
Rambles a little bit after the halfway mark, but enjoyable nonetheless.
½ July 5, 2013
A beautiful, absorbing and very touching film about the journey of immigrants through America. It captures a well-realized subject matter that deals with strong themes such as family ties, relationships and origins. Mira Nair, the director, takes a highly realistic approach and the result is one of the most grounded-in-reality films ever. The performances from the entire cast are brilliant, especially Irrfan Khan and Tabu. These actors make the viewer believe in their situations and inner conflicts, further delving him/her into a simple, yet powerful story about life. It isn't easy to capture countless decades of a family's life in film, however, what Mira Nair manages to accomplish here is more than just plausible. Its the feeling of knowing that life is a rocky road, consisting of many challenges and opportunities that appear on a regular basis. The movie wonderfully shows that what it comes down to is how a person deals with all of these situations in order to live a better life.
June 29, 2013
Despite its awkward set-up & too straight forward story-telling, quite satisfactory indeed.
Super Reviewer
June 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.
Page 2 of 226