The Namesake (2007)

 ●  English ● 2 hrs 2 mins

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Emotionally charged and exquisitely crafted, this complex family-oriented drama follows 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 (Irrfan 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.
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Cast: Irrfan Khan, Kal Penn, Tabu Hashmi

Crew: Mira Nair (Director), Frederick Elmes (Director of Photography), Nitin Sawhney (Music Director)

Genres: Drama

Release Dates: 23 Mar 2007 (India)

Tagline: Two Worlds. One Journey.

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Did you know? Kate Hudson and Natalie Portman were considered for the part of Maxine. Read More
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Direction

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Novelist

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Director of Photography

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Film Type:
Feature Film
Language:
English
Colour Info:
Color
Taglines:
Two Worlds. One Journey.
The greatest journeys are the ones that bring you home.
Goofs:
Miscellaneous
In one of the scenes, on the Airport flight display board, Delhi is misspelled as "Dehli"

Factual Mistake
The baby used to portray the newborn Gogol is not a newborn. He is clearly at least 2-3 months old, if not older.

Factual Mistake
The Gangulis' dark green Volvo 240 sedan has a New York license plate up front and a California one on the back, when the movie is set in New York and a registered vehicle in the state of New York must have a license plate from the state in which it is registered.

Factual Mistake
When the Ganguli family visits Calcutta in 1977 one of the advertisements on the streets is for the Calcutta based newspaper "Telegraph". The Telegraph was established in 1982.

Errors in Geography
After the family reaches Kolkata by air they are shown traveling in a taxi on the Howrah bridge entering the city, but one does not have to cross the bridge to enter the city from the airport because both the airport and the city lie on the same side of the river Ganga.

Errors in Geography
When the family is in the airport (leaving the US), they're in the International Arrivals (not Departures) area of JFK Airport.

Continuity
Ashima is dressing to meet the prospective groom and tosses the end of her sari over her right shoulder; next scene it is neatly done over her left shoulder.
Trivia:
Tabu admitted that in all the years she had lived in India, she had never seen the Taj Mahal. The scene in the movie where the family goes to see the Taj Mahal was her first time seeing famous tomb.

In the ending credits of the movie Kal Penn is listed twice. He is credited as Kal Penn playing Gogol and Kalpen Modi playing Nikhil.

Kate Hudson and Natalie Portman were considered for the part of Maxine.

Many of the "New York" interiors, such as the disco, Moushimi's apartment, the honeymoon suite, etc., were actually filmed in Calcutta to save costs.

According to Kal Penn during an interview on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2005), Mira Nair's son and his good friend, who are fans of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), were adamant that she cast him as Gogol.

Jhumpa Lahiri, whose book the film is based on makes an appearance in the movie as "Jhumpa Maushi".

Mira Nair initially wanted Rani Mukerji to play the role of Ashima after she had seen her in Mani Ratnam's Yuva (2004). Rani Mukerji couldn't sign the film due to date problems. After that, Mira Nair wanted Konkona Sen Sharma to play the role. She couldn't commit due to her mother Aparna Sen's film 15 Park Avenue (2005). After which the director signed Tabu for the role.

Mira Nair originally wanted Abhishek Bachchan to play the part of Gogol, but changed her mind as she wanted someone who looks like he is raised in the US, so she cast Kal Penn as he was very keen to do the role, and also because Mira Nair's son wanted Kal Penn to do the role.

The novel's author (Jhumpa Lahiri) and much of her extended family were used in party/funeral scenes for the family in the U.S. because Mira Nair stayed at Lahiri's home and met much of her family. She thought they had a look she was trying to achieve, and that they were lovely people.
Movie Connection(s):
Referenced in: The Bong Connection (English)
Referenced in: Life in a Metro (Hindi)
Why Rani, Abhishek lost out on Namesake
23 Mar 2007, by Rediff.com