'The Namesake' encompasses, in a deep humane way, the tale of millions of us who have left one home for another, who have known what it is to combine the old ways with the new world, who have left the shadow of our parents to find ourselves for the first time.
DIRECTED BY..........................MIRA NAIR <br>
SCREENPLAY BY....................SOONI TARAPOREVALA<br>
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY...JHUMPA LAHIRI<br>
PRODUCED BY........................LYDIA DEAN PILCHER,
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS......YASUSHI KOTANI,
TAIZO SON, RONNIE SCREWVALA<br>
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY FREDERICK ELMES, ASC<br>
PRODUCTION DESIGNER......STEPHANIE CARROLL<br>
EDITOR.....................................ALLYSON C. JOHNSON<br>
CO-PRODUCERS.....................LORI KEITH DOUGLAS,
YUKIE KITO, ZARINA SCREWVALA<br>
COSTUME DESIGNER.............ARJUN BHASIN<br>
MUSIC BY.................................NITIN SAWHNEY<br>
MUSIC SUPERVISOR...............LINDA COHEN<br>
CASTING BY.............................CINDY TOLAN, CSA
ABOUT THE FILM
“Being rescued from that shattered train had been the first miracle of his life. But here, now, reposing in his arms, weighing next to nothing but changing everything, is the second.”
-- Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake
Spanning two generations, two clashing cultures and two very different ways of life that crash into each other only to become lovingly intertwined, THE NAMESAKE is ultimately about the imminently relevant question: what does it mean to be an American family?
In her most personal film to date, acclaimed director Mira Nair (VANITY FAIR, MONSOON WEDDING) brings to the screen a poignant and transporting version of Jhumpa Lahiri’s best-selling novel, which won reader’s hearts across the world with its exploration of the ties that can both tangle and bind global families as they brave the modern vicissitudes of change, conflict and disaster.
Jumping between the equally colorful and vibrant cities of Calcutta and New York, THE NAMESAKE is a family drama, but it’s about a very different kind of contemporary American family: the Gangulis, who come to the U.S. from India in order to experience a world of limitless opportunities – only to be confronted with the perils and confusion of trying to build a meaningful life in a baffling new society.
On the heels of their arranged marriage, Ashoke (Irrfan Khan) and Ashima (Tabu) jet off from sweltering Calcutta to a wintry New York where they begin their new life together. Virtual strangers to one another and with Ashima now living in a new and very strange land, their relationship quickly takes a turn when Ashima gives birth to a son. Under pressure to name him quickly, Ashoke settles on Gogol, after the famous Russian author – a name that serves as a link to a secret past and, Ashoke hopes, a better future. But life isn’t as easy for Gogol as his parents might wish. As a first-generation American teenager, Gogol (Kal Penn) must learn to tread a razor-thin line between his Bengali roots and his American birthright in the search for his own identity. As Gogol attempts to forge his destiny – rejecting his given name, dating a rich American girl (Jacinda Barrett), heading to study architecture at Yale – his parents cling to their Bengali traditions. But their paths keep crossing with both comic and painfully revelatory consequences . . . until Gogol begins to see the links between the world his parents left behind and the new world that lies in front of him.
Fox Searchlight Pictures presents THE NAMESAKE, directed by Mira Nair and written by Sooni Taraporevala and based on the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri. The producers are Lydia Dean Pilcher and Nair; Lori Keith Douglas, Yukie Kito and Zarina Screwvala are the co-producers. The executive producers are Yasushi Kotani, Taizo Son and Ronnie Screwvala. The film stars Kal Penn, Tabu, Irrfan Khan, Jacinda Barrett, and Zuleikha Robinson.
Capturing this tale set in two of the world’s most fascinating cities is an accomplished behind-the-camera team that includes director of photography Frederick Elmes, ASC (BROKEN FLOWERS, KINSEY), production designer Stephanie Carroll (who previously worked with Nair on MONSOON WEDDING), editor Allyson C. Johnson and costume designer Arjun Bhasin (Nair’s KAMA SUTRA and MONSOON WEDDING) The music is by the leading composer, songwriter, DJ and cross-cultural pioneer Nitin Sawhney.
The movie will be released on March 9th across the country. The movie will be released in the Boston area on March 16th with a preview screening on March 13th in Kendall Square. Enter the Photo Caption Contest to get two free passes for the preview sceening next Tuesday March 13th.
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