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Year: 2006
USA & UK: Fox Searchlight
Cast: Kal Penn, Tabu, Irrfan Khan, Jacinda Barrett, Zuleikha Robinson, Jagannath Guha, Ruma Guha Thakurta, Sandip Deb, Sukanya, Tanushree Shankar, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Tamal Roy Choudhury, Dhruv Mookerji, Supriya Devi, Stuart Rudin, Heather Macrae, Sumitra Kanti, Michael Countryman, Kousik Bhowal, Rupak Ginn, Soham Chatterjee, Gargi Mukherjee, Pallavi Shah, Jhumpa Lahiri, Noor Lahiri Vourvoulias, Linus Roache, Josh Grisetti, Kalpen Modi, Justin Rosini, Dan Mccabe, Bobby Steggert, Sahira Nair, Bc Parikh, Sibani Biswas, Lakhan Das, Kharaj Mukherjee, Glenne Headly, Daniel Gerrol, Amy Wright, Brooke Smith, Christie Moreau, Jo Yang, Krishna Dikshit, Kartik Das, Gary Cowling, Sudipta Bhawmik, Gretchen Egolf, Baylen Thomas, Jeb Brown, Jessica Blank, Mia Yoo, Benjamin Bauman, Sebastian Roche, Maximiliano Hernandez, Partha Chatterjee, Mitali Bhawmik
Director: Mira Nair
Countries: India / USA
USA & UK: 122mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for sexuality/nudity, a scene of drug use, some disturbing images and brief language
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate sex, soft drug use and accident scenes
USA Release Date: 9 March 2007 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 30 March 2007


Spanning two generations, two clashing cultures and two very different ways of life that crash into each other only to become lovingly intertwined, THE NAMESAKE is ultimately about the imminently relevant question: what does it mean to be an American family?

In her most personal film to date, acclaimed director Mira Nair (VANITY FAIR, MONSOON WEDDING) brings to the screen a poignant and transporting version of Jhumpa Lahiri's best-selling novel, which won reader's hearts across the world with its exploration of the ties that can both tangle and bind global families as they brave the modern vicissitudes of change, conflict and disaster.

Jumping between the equally colorful and vibrant cities of Calcutta and New York, THE NAMESAKE is a family drama, but it's about a very different kind of contemporary American family: the Gangulis, who came to the U.S. from India in order to experience a world of limitless opportunities - only to be confronted with the perils and confusion of trying to build a meaningful life in a baffling new society.

Soon after their arranged marriage, Ashoke (Irrfan Khan) and Ashima (Tabu) jet off from sweltering Calcutta to a wintry New York where they begin their new life together. Virtual strangers to one another and with Ashima now living in a new and very strange land, their relationship quickly takes a turn when Ashima gives birth to a son. Under pressure to name him quickly, Ashoke settles on Gogol, after the famous Russian author - a name that serves as a link to a secret past and, Ashoke hopes, a better future. But life isn't as easy for Gogol as his parents might wish.

As a first-generation American teenager, Gogol (Kal Penn) must learn to tread a razor-thin line between his Bengali roots and his American birthright in the search for his own identity. Gogol attempts to forge his own destiny by rejecting his given name, dating a rich American girl (Jacinda Barrett) and studying architecture at Yale. In contrast his parents cling to their Bengali traditions. But their paths keep crossing with both comic and painfully revelatory consequences until Gogol begins to see the links between the world his parents left behind and the new world that lies in front of him.

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