The Namesake

2006 Drama

A couple coming to terms with living in a new culture discover their troubles are compounded by their son in this drama from filmmaker Mira Nair. Ashoke (Irfan Khan) and Ashima (Tabu) are a young couple who are brought together in an arranged marriage and soon leave Calcutta to seek their fortune in America. As the couple becomes accustomed to one another, they learn to deal with the coolness and superficiality of life in New York, even as they revel in the opportunities the city offers them. Before long, Ashima gives birth to a baby boy, and pressed to choose a name, they dub the infant Nikhil, though he soon picks up the nickname Gogol, after Ashoke's favorite author. By the time the child is old enough to attend school, he insists upon being called Gogol at all times, and he displays little interest in his Indian heritage. Several years on, Gogol has decided he wants to be called Nick (and is now played by Kal Penn) and has become a thoroughly Americanized teenager, openly rebelling against his parents, smoking marijuana in his room, and dating Maxine (Jacinda Barrett), a preppy blonde from a wealthy family. Ashoke and Ashima are uncertain about how to deal with their son's attempts to cut himself off from their culture, but Nick begins expressing some uncertainty himself when he meets Moushumi (Zuleikha Robinson), a beautiful girl who also comes from a family of Indian expatriates. The Namesake was adapted from the bestselling novel by Jhumpa Lahiri. more..

Director: Mira Nair

Starring: Irrfan Khan, Kal Penn, Jagannath Guha, Tabu, Ruma Guha Thakurta


  • Brims with intelligence, compassion and sensuous delight in the textures, sights and sounds of life--all the way from the Taj Mahal to Pearl Jam.

    Michael Wilmington - The Chicago Tribune

    27 April 2013

  • Moving and marvelous new cross-cultural family saga.

    Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly

    27 April 2013

  • An engaging and moving film with a universal story about the bonds of family as told through two generations of a Bengali family.

    Claudia Puig - USA Today

    27 April 2013

  • The Namesake has a deep, alluvial poetry to it, like a mighty river reaching the sea. It's mysterious and ordinary, insightful and banal, rambling and precise, and it is altogether unexpected.

    Ty Burr - The Boston Globe

    27 April 2013

  • This immensely pleasurable film is anything but dry. It's a saga of the immigrant experience that captures the snap, crackle and pop of American life, along with the pounding pulse, emotional reticence, volcanic colors and cherished rituals of Indian culture.

    Joe Morgenstern - The Wall Street Journal

    27 April 2013


  • Best Feature Film Casting - Drama

    Casting Society of America (2007)

  • Mira Nair

    Gotham Awards (2007)

  • Best Supporting Male

    Independent Spirit Awards (2008)

  • Mira Nair

    Love is Folly International Film Festival, Bulgaria (2006)

  • Top Independent Films

    National Board of Review (2007)