THE NAMESAKE

"Operation Cultural Bridge"
India, U.S.A. / 2006 / English, Bengali, Hindi dialogue with English, Arabic subtitles / Colour / 35 mm / 122 minutes
no poster

Synopsis

Ashoke Ganuli (Irfan Khan) and his wife Ashima (Tabu) left the chaos of Kolkata in the 1970s, determined to sculpt a new life in New York City. Cut off from the intimacy of the extended Indian family, they struggle to find warmth in the pleasantries exchanged with new friends and colleagues, and Ashima in particular hides her profound isolation and loneliness. Their American-born son Gogol (Kal Penn) struggles to fulfill the traditional Indian expectations of his parents and resents everything that sets him apart from other Americans. As the years pass he avoids an arranged marriage and favours the company of his Caucasian girlfriend Max (Jacinda Barrett), until an incident forces him to reconsider his cultural heritage. He travels to India and, as he finds himself swept up in its torrent of life, begins to understand his parents longing for their homeland. Director Mira Nair shows again that no director has handled themes of displacement and homelessness with greater depth and sensitivity.

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