The Namesake comprises a Bengali Couple themed around the diaspora. It is based on the novel of the same name by Jhumpa Lahiri. It stars the incomparable Irrfan Khan and the beautiful Tabu with Kal Penn as their son, directed by Mira Nair.
1. This was the first time Irrfan Khan travelled to the USA for a project. He plays the role of Ashoke Ganguli, a man from Bengal, willing to settle in the United States after an uncle suggests. He does so when he encounters an accident.
2. Tabu plays the role of Ashima. A vocalist who marries Ashoke and settles for his decision to put up in the US. Tabu plays the role gracefully and elegantly. Having the mannerisms of an Indian wife, she does not fail to show us how an Indian woman settles in the US after marriage.
3. Kal Penn plays the role of Gogol, after writer Nikolai Gogol, who inspires Ashoke to such an extent that he names his son after him. He is a typical Indian kid growing up in the US. There are many layers to his character, which can only be seen once you view the film.
4. This was the second collaboration between director Mira Nair and Irrfan Khan, after a first cameo role in her first film, ‘Salaam Bombay’. After this, they worked on several other projects.
5. Jhumpa Lahiri, the author of the novel on which the film is based, makes a guest appearance.
6. Various aspects of life are shown in the film, and it truly touches you. More so, how Irrfan Khan weaves his magic of playing Ashoke, a character many of us will resonate with or more the parents of the current generation.
7. Giving one of the best performances of his lifetime, Irrfan Khan makes you cry even though he does just the basic things of a simple man. He maintains the Bengali accent throughout and never makes you feel the character is out of place.
8. Beautiful direction by Mira Nair. She adapts the book in the best way possible, passing through a rough time in her life. She read The Namesake and decided to make it into a film, and she does not disappoint.
9. The Namesake is lauded for its realistic portrayal of life for the early immigrants in the US. Though having a melancholy tone, the film really moves you beyond bounds and the crown jewel of the whole story, Irrfan Khan. No words can describe how he made Ashoke come to life. Brilliant performance!
Watch The Namesake if you want to reflect on life. It is a lovely letter to our parents as well. A film with warm performances from every cast member.
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