The Namesake - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Namesake Reviews

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½ May 18, 2013
very badly plated and served
½ May 9, 2013
This is a pretty misleading movie. I thought it was going to be about Gogol, but instead it was about his parents.
April 27, 2013
A really good effort from Mira Nair that is brought down from being as masterful as it could have been by major pacing issues.
½ April 23, 2013
A beautiful adaptation from a novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, one of the most compassionate writers of the migrant experience. If you identify with being displaced in between cultures, read Lahiri and check out the movie.
April 16, 2013
2: The Namesake has a plethora of very poignant moments (often revolving around death, birth, marriage, or other similarly life changing events), but it ultimately fails as a film. I'm not sure if this is more Nair's fault, the writer's, the producers, or the actors, but I suspect it's some combination of them all. The script is just too clunky, awkward, and forced at times. Emotionally forceful scenes like those revolving around the discovery of an affair, a death, a funeral, etc need to flow naturally, but here it often feels like they are smashed together into an unwieldy jigsaw puzzle of sorts. The concept and trajectory is superb and often fascinating, but this filmmaking team doesn't seem to have the requisite skills to pull it off. This is terribly sad because I can imagine this story working to perfection in the hands of Jean Renoir, Clint Eastwood, Danny Boyle, Martin Scorsese, etc to name a few random directors that relate to the story in my mind for one reason or another. The story is just too grand and ambitious for its own good. It attempts to follow one family's immigration to the US and the impacts this and a name has on their lives (and everything in between) and it just can't hold itself together.
April 14, 2013
This film focuses on a couple from Bengali that lives by Hindu traditions and has come to embark on a journey to a life of the America way. Ashamed Falls in love with her husband that was chose for her which is Asoka. Ashore and Ashima move from Calcutta to Queen New York.

Born two children (boy and girl) America son Gogol from an Indian Immigrant. It was only thru their burley there son go gal is caught between his Indian roots and his America birth right. Gogol wants to fit in among his New Yorker friends despite his willingness to let go of their traditional ways. His sister Sonia did her own thing. Gogol didn't like the name his father gave him and wanted to know why he was given that name. It was through Gogol and his sister's journey they both encountered conflict and heartache. They endured college, snobbery work, culture issues, they meet potential partners, marriage divas and experience sadness and joyfulness.

Gogol begin to see the link between the world his parent left behind and the new world that lies in from of him. The way that the movie relates to religion is that of the Hindu belief there associated with multiplicity gods and does not devote the worship of one particular deity. There spiritual practices is prescribed to as a person that should be able to correspond to his or hers competence and that a person should have the freedom to choose of invent a form of Brahman that satisfies his or her craving send to make it the objects of their worship the Hindu enjoy freedom of worshiping their personally chosen icon is to offer their pray to the indefinable Brahman.

This film focuses on Indian culture and the power and full of a family that movies from Calcutta to Queen New York a family that has to adapt to a life in America they has two children (boy and girl) they grew up only to realize that there identities' would cause them both conflict and heartaches, this family endures many different events such as work the different in peoples ways the meeting of partners, marriage and sadness and joy surprise as their life journey progress.

I recommend this movie because I feel there are a lot of people who is trying to find themselves between the many different culture.
½ April 5, 2013
i think i like the book more than the film itself. that's just like what people say. books are usually a lot better than the movies in capturing the characters' deep emotions.
½ March 28, 2013
undoubtedly one of the best film of 2007. unforgettable film. nice work done by tabu and kal penn....
February 10, 2013
Although lacking emotional intensity in parts, this is one of the best films about family, heritage and identity to hit the big screen in ages.
½ January 19, 2013
This film was decent but nothing incredible, The book is so much better and I think Kal Penn was a bad casting move for this film.
January 6, 2013
great book adaptation.
January 4, 2013
"The Namesake" is a poignant film, based on a wonderful work of fiction, and it is never anything other than faithful to its source material. The cast are by and large, superb. Kal Penn does really well as the central character, Gogol, portraying the character as a confused, vulnerable, and multi-layered young man who ultimately learns to become comfortable in his own skin. As for his parents Ashok and Ashima, they bring a mix of loneliness and pathos to their roles as people who cannot let go of their past but are prepared to sacrifice everything for their future. It is this ordinariness is what makes their characters so credible and sympathetic. The movie commences in India with Ashima, a young girl in India, introduced to a prospective husband, Ashoke. (She decides she likes him after standing in his Western shoes outside the door.) They marry and she is taken to the wintery U.S. to live in initial isolation. What ensures is a touching examination of the universal themes of loneliness, custom, identity and finding one's place in the world are the ensuring themes. Despite cramming a story spanning 30 years into its running time, the film is well-paced, beautifully shot and lyrical. The movie captures the hustle and bustle of India, in contrast to the loud, vibrant and colourful life to a lonely, cold, and snow-white U.S. New York is breathtaking.
December 27, 2012
No thanks. not interested.
½ December 16, 2012
A really sweet and well done movie. Likable characters, an ambitious scope, great performances, and beautiful cinematography.
November 22, 2012
Tabu and Irfan Khan's chemistry was so perfect, and then Kal Penn came in and screwed everything up. The latter half of the film was really weak and very poorly acted. If the entire movie was more like the first half and focused more on their arranged marriage rather than Gogol's name, I would have liked it a lot better. One part that really made no sense was when the whole family is dealing with their dad's death, and then it transitions to Penn shaving his head and blasting bad rap music. It was a really terrible transition, especially when juxtaposed with the beautifully filmed scenes just before it.
November 18, 2012
The Namesake follows the story of a Bengali American as he wrestles with his cultural identity. His young parents cope with cultural issues as they move to a land, America, with unlike cultures than themselves. There is a strong religious influence throughout the movie, especially in the beginning. The practices and rituals that are shown are Hindu in origin. The story follows the couple's son as he experiences life as a culturally diverse individual. He is raised in America by Bengali parents that want him to understand his religious background and take it with him though his life. The couple adapts to the America way and must adapt to the change is lifestyles. They are seeking a better place but they didn't realize how many traditions would be harder to uphold in America miles and miles from their home. The simple act of not having to boil water before you drink must have been something to get used too. The couple struggle with homesickness in this foreign country. The movie has a very slow start and doesn't get interesting until the couple has a son. The journey of their sons cultural path and enlightenment is the true story of this movie.
½ November 18, 2012
I watched the movie The Namesake. Originally, I didn't think that the movie would interest me. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the movie and it really appealed to me emotionally. In the beginning the movie focuses on an Indian man named Ashoke. After nearly being killed on a train, he decides to take the opportunity to really explore life. He marries Ashima from his same background and returns to the United States to continue his studies. They have their first child named Gogol Ganguli, named after Ashoke's favorite author. He was reading one of his books when he nearly lost his life in the train crash. The family settles into life in the United States but at times find it difficult to adjust from their Bangoli traditions. Ashima has the biggest problem adjusting to things such as city life, language, and clothing. As a result, she is often feels lost and lonely. They later give birth to a girl named Sonia. Both teenagers become accustomed to American ways and shy away from their cultural traditions. Their parents try to keep them rooted in their culture with several visits to India and by continuing their traditions in America. After graduating both of their kids move out and on with their lives. Ashima struggles with trying to get her family to come together and maintain tradition. Sonia moves to California while Gangol falls in loves with an American girl named Maxine and travels with her family. He is easily accepted and enjoys the freedom that he experiences with her and her family. Near the end of the movie Ashoke leaves Ashima to travel to Ohio to teach. During this time, he suffers a massive heart attack, and dies alone. Ashima is left deeply heartbroken and devastated. It is not until then that the children return home to be with their mother. Gogol comes to appreciate and accept his heritage and regrets not spending more time with his father. To please his mother Gogol agrees to meet up with a girl from his past, Moushumi. She is also Bangoli and met Gogol when they were young; their mother's always wanted them to take interest in one another. Moushumi has also changed letting American ways consume her. Gangol falls in love and they are married. Unfortunately, Gangol's love for his culture and ways tears them apart and Moushumi has an affair. Ashima sees that she must let go of her children and she returns to India. Many children fail to understand the things that their parents try to instill in them until their gone. The movie demonstrates some of the traditions for Hinduism that are discussed in our textbook Living Religions. For example, in the Bangolian religion they don't think that it is proper to show affection in front of others. This is evident through Ashima and Gangoli. When Gangoli is with his girlfriend they are hug and kiss but when they go to his parents' house she is warned to keep her hands to herself. The women keep the majority of their bodies covered and are responsible for the household. I noticed throughout the movie Ashima never went to work or mentioned anything about it. The religious ceremonies can be seen in the movie as well. For all religious occasions they are seated on the floor. They believe in marrying someone from their own culture and a lot of times the marriages are setup by the parents. In The Namesake Ashoke and Ashima were introduced by their parents as were Gangol and Moushumi. They didn't follow any American traditions like the bride wearing white and I don't recall seeing a wedding cake. Everyone wore normal clothing. The ceremony for a child was very similar lots of food and music. No games were played like American baby showers. For the death of Ashoke friends and relatives gathered at the house and everyone took their shoes off before entering as a sign of respect. Later the family had another sacred ceremony between them as they sang and spread his ashes in a body of water. The movie is an excellent example of the battle that people endure when they are born in one place with different beliefs and raised in another. Although, they want to please their parents and may want to stay true to their religion it becomes hard to do so and fit in at the same time.
Fisher , Mary Pat. Living Religions. 8th. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2011. Print.
The Namesake. Dir. Mira Nair . 2006. Film. 16 Nov 2012.
November 18, 2012
In viewing the movie, I can respect different customs and beliefs, while at the same time once an adult it is okay to explore your options, and the movie did well at depicting this.
½ November 17, 2012
The Namesake

This movie begins with a young Bengali woman singing classical Indian music which is known to be based on an inner spiritual communion with the divine, and ends with the same woman now middle aged returned to her home in India singing. This is a form of yoga and in Hindu chanting sacred
syllables is found to be a way of stilling a person?s mind. Another way of steadying a person?s mind is to concentrate on a visual object such as a flame. There are many forms of music that may go on for hours if a person is spiritually absorbed.
The Namesake is a story that takes you from the beginning of life together, a young Bengali man and woman just married, and moved from India to America. As they learn to live together and in a new world, they grow close together adapting to the ways of this new country while keeping with many of their beliefs, traditions and rituals.
During this movie, this couple has two children a son and a daughter that grows up in a home of Indian and Hindu tradition, while part of the world they live in. The focus is primarily on the son who?s given an unusual name after a famous writer. Being born and raised in America, it is later in his life before he learns to appreciate the traditions and values of his Indian heritage and more so after his father passes away suddenly at a young age. At this point in his life, he carries on the rituals of the Indian and Hindu ways in his actions of shaving his head, wearing the Indian attire, and participating in the rituals performed as part of the mourning process. He has an American girlfriend that he plans to spend his life with up until the time of his father?s death, which is when he feels closer to his Indian heritage. Later in his life he marries a Bengali woman in America only to find she does not have the same depth of Indian heritage and she has an affair leaving him alone.
I think this movie shows how easy it is to adapt to a new life as well as how difficult it is to fit in and the need for a heritage of traditions to relate to.
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