The Namesake

 (1,121)7.52 h 2 min2007X-RayPG-13
HD. An Indian immigrant family learns to revere tradition while accepting American ideas in this film based on the novel.
Mira Nair
Kal PennTabuIrrfan Khan
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Jacinda BarrettZuleikha Robinson
Lydia Dean PilcherMira Nair
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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4.7 out of 5 stars

1121 global ratings

  1. 82% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Dellisia NicoleReviewed in the United States on November 14, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
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This movie was truly more moving than I anticipated. The Namesake is about a young man by the name of Gogol and his struggle between his given Indian culture and the American culture that he was raised in. His parents Ashoke and Ashima are from West Bengal, India. His parents settled in New York and shortly after gave birth to him. Gogol was originally his nickname which eventually becomes his permanent name and the movie will chronicle the significance of his name.
The movie shows how Gogol battles to conform to his American life while his parents try to remain true to their Indian heritage. Being that Gogol’s friends are mostly white American kids, he adapts behaviors that his parents detest. He is lazy, disrespectful and smokes marijuana. After a trip to India with his parents, he seems to understand and appreciate his culture a little more.
Gogol goes off to college and after graduating he lands a job as an architect. He also decides to change his name to Nikhil and begins dating a white woman named Maxine from a wealthy family. He spends less time with his parents and they began to feel that their son is ashamed of where he comes from. As Gogol falls in love with Maxine, he decides to introduce her to his parents and their insecurities are confirmed as they fail to understand their son’s American customs. Gogol in fact grows closer to Maxine’s family and enjoys being around them more.
As Gogol is vacationing with Maxine’s family, he ignores calls from his parents as they attempt to wish him a happy birthday. While enjoying his time away, his father suffers a massive heart attack and passes away. After this he totally changes. Suddenly, he morphs into the man that his parents wanted him to be. He is open and accepting of his culture and realizes that he no longer wants to be with Maxine. He continues to support his family and take his father’s place as a male figure amongst his mother and sister.
In the movie there are several instances where culture is referenced which is closely related to religion. For instance, you will see the figures of the Hindu deities at the wedding of Ashoke and Ashima. That is one significant thing that I remember regarding religion in this movie. I ‘ve always assumed that Hindu followers are strong and devoted to their belief. Their devotion makes them strong and very proud. I see all these qualities in Ashoke and Ashima and they strongly believed in raising their children to be the same way.
13 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on March 11, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
the immigrant's journey
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This was really good. It's quite the journey of Indian immigrants and their American-born children. We see how the parents adjust to American life and then how the children grow up American and lose touch with their Indian culture to some degree. The focus is on the son who grows up disconnected from his culture and then rediscovers his heritage and Indian identity. It's funny, happy, sad... full of life. A true immigrant's story.

There's a pot smoking scene, some nudity (female's rear end) and some sensual bed scenes that imply sex.
8 people found this helpful
sassyforeverReviewed in the United States on October 27, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Story of Life
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For those people who love a really great story about human lives, this movie shows the struggles of a life that has been lived, loved and the story of finding yourself.
I want to speak about the character of Ashoke. I'm extremely saddened to learn of the death of the actor that plays this character. Irrfan Khan was an actor that had just recently become a favorite of mine. To learn that he had passed away in April of this year saddened me because he did not get the news media coverage due to COVID-19. But also that he was so young and had so much more to give to Hollywood but more so because he had more life for his family.
Back to the movie, I will say that for some people who may find the movie to be a little slow, don't stop watching. I fell in love with this movie!! I don't want to give anything away but I really suggest this movie to everyone!!
joel wingReviewed in the United States on September 1, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Touching story about immigrants family and culture
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The Namesake covers a common story amongst immigrants. The first generation struggles to assimilate and adapt to their new country and then their children born and raised in the U.S. come to reject many of their traditions and resent their parents. That’s the case with The Namesake which begins with Irrfan Khan marrying Tabu who he takes with him back to New York. Then they have two children Kal Penn and Sahira Nair. The plot becomes about whether Penn can reconcile with his family and culture. It is a very touching and emotional story. Any parent can relate to the Khan and Tabu dealing with their children. Likewise younger people can understand the rebelliousness of Penn.
C.ScottReviewed in the United States on April 6, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Could not stop watching! Growing up in America with another culture at home.
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This is an epic movie about a boy growing up in America, whose parents are Indian immigrants. Gogol is caught between loving the American way and his cultural Hindu values. When Gogol is an adult, he has some tough realizations and discoveries during one of the hardest times of his life. Not quite fitting in with American families and not quite fitting in with his own. He feels that his families cultural is somewhat silly until, life gives him a not so great surprise and then he trys to learn to blend his American and Indian cultures together, although that does not quite work either. Only to find that finding yourself can be one of the most freeing experiences, and that you can have roots and wings.

This pertains to World Religions, because throughout the movie it shows many Hindu ceremonies, ones about marriage, birth, and death. How the grandmother of the mother gives the baby his or her name. The Hindu marriage ceremony. And what the death process is for grieving. We are drawn into the movie and the realisms of blending the Hindu faith with that of Western faiths.
2 people found this helpful
AliciaReviewed in the United States on April 6, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great film about family and culture!
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I loved this movie. It told a very poignant and optimistic story about the Ganguli family, starting with the parents and then focusing on the struggles of their son Gogol as he tries to find his identity. Ashoke and Ashima enter an arranged marriage knowing very little about each other. Ashoke is an engineer pursuing his PhD in New York and has already spent time away from India, while Ashima has never left India or been on a plane before. Their marriage and move to New York set the tone for the rest of the movie. Ashoke has become accustomed to American ways while still fully connecting with his Indian culture. Ashima misses India dearly and treasures their traditions, but settles in eventually because of the encouragement and optimism of her husband. They eventually have two children, the firstborn being their son Gogol. Gogol was meant to be a nickname and his parents decided later that his good name would be Nikhil, but as a child he decides he wants to be called Gogol. His name becomes a major part of the movie and apart of his cross-cultural journey into adulthood. When Gogol is about to go to college he tells his parents that he is going to change his name to Nikhil. The name is something that will hold him back in different areas of life, particularly his professional and love life. It here when Gogol learns the significance of his name, coming from his father’s favorite author and represents a life changing event for Ashoke that inspired him to leave India and take opportunities is America, the same opportunities he now wants Gogol to have. He has been immersed in a different life with his girlfriend Max and distancing himself from his family, until his father suffers a fatal heart attack. This is one of many turning points in Gogol’s life that put him in search of himself.
This was an excellent movie about family and culture, but it also offers us a look into the Hindu practices that are interwoven into the celebration of important life events. For example, the two wedding ceremonies that are shown in the film incorporated rituals that are associated with Hinduism. When Ashoke passed away he was cremated which is Hindu tradition, his only son conducted the last rites and lit the pyre, and the families behavior alluded to the Hindu tradition that the bereaved spend time together and keep to themselves as they grieve and await for the ancestral offerings to be completed. The film also showed the families experiences in America and India, pointing out that no matter where they were Ashoke and Ashima carried their culture with them. This is an example of how Hinduism and other religions have become diversified and universal in a sense. Learning about someone else or figuring out your own identity involves investigating your religious or spiritual beliefs along with the culture you were born into and that you have adapted to over time.
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on November 11, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
I loved the insight it gave me on how difficult it ...
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The Namesake was a very interesting movie to me. I loved the insight it gave me on how difficult it may be to live in a country that does not share the same cultural beliefs as you do. This movie helped me to respect people more who come from a different culture, because I am sure it must be a struggle to adapt to American culture. I do not think I have what it takes to travel across the world and start a new life in a complete different culture than my own. It also helped me to further understand Native India culture.
This movie was about a family who moved from Calcutta to New York. The family struggles with honoring their Native India culture while blending into American culture. The parents made sacrifices to make their children's lives better, and to give them more opportunities. Their son Gogal strives to make his own identity in America while trying not to forget his heritage, and where he comes from.
This movie relates to world religions by showing customs of the Bengal religion. Some of the customs included are different Bengali sangeets or songs, some taboos imposed on Bengali Hindu housewife selection of a Bengali baby’s name, celebration of a Bengali baby’s rice ceremony, practices of different Bengali Hindu rituals, different Bengali deities and festivals, the use of Bengali culinary items in Ashima’s Pemberton’s home and some other cultural traits. These customs describe the typical Bengali culture, which is what Gogal was not accustomed to at first.
One person found this helpful
KrisReviewed in the United States on August 30, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Excellent film; excellent acting. I especially loved the relationship between the namesake's parents. I have seen it previously and decided I wanted a copy of my own. I'd highly recommend it. I thought the American daughter was a spoiled brat, as was the American son when he was younger; it's still a great story and worth seeing just to watch the lives of the parents.
One person found this helpful
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