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September 2, 2006 Release: The Namesake

September 2, 2008

Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel, The Namesake, was turned into a slightly less interesting movie of the same title. The director of Monsoon Wedding, Mira Nair, led a perfectly matched cast as an Indian family living in America and raising first-generation Indian Americans.

Gogol, (the always lovely Kal Penn) plays the son of Ashime and Ashoka. In order to understand his name and to struggle with the conflict of traditional Indian values and an American lifestyle, Gogul eventually learns the story of his parents struggle to learn to care for each other in their arranged marriage and to raise two children in a world so foreign to their own.

The book was beautiful and compelling. The film is quite the same with moments not exactly what I had hoped to see brought to screen. However, it is still worth a rent as a wonderful look at generational conflict, family issues, and personal struggle with identity.

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