THE NAMESAKE is the story of the Ganguli family whose move from Calcutta to New York evokes a lifelong balancing act to meld to a new world without forgetting the old. Though parents Ashoke and Ashima (Irfan Khan, Tabu) long for the family and culture that enveloped them in India, they take great pride in the opportunities their sacrifices have afforded their children. Paradoxically, their son Gogol (Kal Penn) is torn between finding his own unique identity without losing his heritage. Even Gogol's name represents the family's journey into the unknown.

  • 2 hr 2 minNRHDSD
  • Mar 9, 2007
  • Drama

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Cast & Crew

  • KAL PENNActor

    Kal Penn was born and raised in Montclair, New Jersey, to Asmita, a fragrance evaluator, and Suresh Modi, an engineer. His parents are Gujarati immigrants to America from India. He attended the Freehold Regional High School District's Performing Arts High School where he participated in the school's theater productions. In 1995, he moved to Los Angeles to study at the UCLA's prestigious School of Theatre, Film and Television. He majored in film and sociology. He began his acting career in several indie films. His breakthrough film role came in the comedy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004). Several Harold & Kumar films have followed. He went on to appear for 2 years in the television series House (2004). He developed an interest in politics from his grandparents who marched for India's independence. In 2009, he joined the Obama administration as an Associate Director.
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  • TabuActor

    Tabu is an Indian actress. She has mainly acted in Hindi films, though she has also starred in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali-language films, as well as one American film. She has won the National Film Award for Best Actress twice, and holds the record for the most wins of Filmfare's Critics Award for Best Female Performer, with four. With few exceptions, she is best known for acting in artistic, low-budget films that go on to garner more critical appreciation than substantial box-office figures. Her appearances in commercially successful films were few, and her parts in these films were small, such as Border (1997), Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Wife No. 1 (1999) and We Stand United (1999). Her most notable performances include Maachis (1996), Virasat (1997), Hu Tu Tu (1999), Astitva (2000), Chandni Bar (2001), Maqbool (2003) and Less Sugar (2007). Her leading role in Mira Nair's American film The Namesake (2006) also drew major praise. Regarded as one of the most talented Indian actresses of her generation, Tabu is known to be selective about her film roles. She was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award, in 2011 by the Government of India for her contributions towards the arts.
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  • ZULEIKHA ROBINSONActor

  • BROOKE SMITHActor

    Brooke Smith grew up in New York in the shadow of show business owing to the fact that she is the daughter of powerful publicist Lois Smith. After studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, her "first big thing" was playing Catherine Martin, the abducted young girl in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). She went on to play Sonya in Louis Malle's Vanya on 42nd Street (1994) and Dawn in Daniel Minahan's brutal sendup of reality television Series 7: The Contenders (2001). Whether she is humming a Tom Petty tune, as her character did in "Lambs," or screaming for a bean dip, as her pregnant character does in "Series 7," Smith is known for giving brooding, detailed performances. In addition to stage work, her other interests include filmmaking (she has directed a short film and a feature-length documentary), journalism (she has published interviews with actors Steve Buscemi, Ed Harris, and Fred Ward), and travel (she has traveled extensively, especially to Africa).
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  • Gabriel ByrneActor

  • JACINDA BARRETTActor