October 5 & 7, 2007

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Rated PG-13
122 minutes

The Namesake (2006)

October 5, 2007 at 7:00 and 10:00 pm in 26-100
October 7, 2007 at 7:00 pm in 26-100

Like her previous films Vanity Fair, Monsoon Wedding, and HBO’s Hysterical Blindness, Mira Nair’s The Namesake is a lush, beautiful film bursting with rich color and visual texture. Based on the bestselling book by Jhumpa Lahiri, the film follows two generations of the Ganguli family. After wedding via an arranged marriage, Ashima (Tabu) moves with Ashoke (Irrfan Khan) from her native Calcutta to New York. As Ashima struggles to adjust to life in her new home, a true love grows between the newlyweds. When they give birth to Gogol (Kal Penn, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle), who does not learn the true origin of his name until adulthood, the Gangolis decide to stay in American for their child’s sake, settling in the suburbs and eventually giving birth to a daughter, Sonia (Sahira Nair). While Ashima and Ashoke attempt to balance their new life with Indian traditions, their children have the very different experience of being raised first-generation Americans. With little interest in their ancestry, both Gogol and Sonia disappoint their parents by having little respect for the sacrifices their parents made for them. Gogol’s desire to change his name, and his relationship with a wealthy American girl (Jacinda Barrett), places a strain on the family which Gogol will later regret. []

Sponsored by MISTI.

The Namesake combines the intimate pleasures of a family saga with a finely sustained inquiry into the difficult balance between separation and integration that shapes the consciousness of first-generation émigrés and their children.
      -- Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly. Read this review.

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