Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Namesake

A thoughtful and emotional drama that explores one's place in family and society. When the Ganguli family moves to America from India, their American born son, Gogol, rebels against his traditional values and drifts further and further away from his family. He changes his lifestyle, his name, and integrates himself into the life of his girl friend's family.

Events occur that force Gogol to re-evaluate his life and the story is propelled on a journey of self discovery. The film moves at a leisurely pace beginning with the arranged marriage of Gogol's parents and moves through the years with much attention to detail.

We are exposed to much Indian culture as the film divides it's time between India and the U.S. but the story, at it's heart, is a universal one. Each generation must discover their own identity and yet, maintain the traditions and values that help shape the individual they are to become.

Kal Penn, a long way from "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle", stars as Gogol with a terrific multi-layered performance. Irrfan khan and Tabu play his parents and both are excellent. The entire cast does a wonderful job bringing all the characters to life. Directed by Mira Nair, "The Namesake" is a richly woven fabric that will appeal to an audience looking for a film with depth and feeling.

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