My Take On “The Namesake”

The Namesake is about an Indian couple who getted married via an arranged marriage, come to America – the land of opportunities, raise 2 children here and their struggles with how to deal with the culture differences. 

The movie itself wasn’t what I normally watch. You know, full of kicking ass, fast cars, awesome animation or hot guys.  Haha.  But I definitely felt emotionally connected to the characters.  Most especially to Kal Penn’s character Nikhil/Gogol/Nick.  He was raised in the US by immigrant parents surrounded by other Indian-Americans, but was still largely influenced by American culture.

The turning point in Gogol’s life is when his father dies of a heart attack.  His father is actually away teaching at a university, with his wife at home.  Gogol learns of his father’s death while vacationing with his girlfriend’s parents.  As the events unfold, Gogol realizes that spending time with his affluent white girlfriend (that he’s only with because subconsciously he’s trying to shed everything Indian about him, thus the name change to Nick from Gogol) doesn’t matter as much as being with own family, which he has neglected for a long time. 

The movie doesn’t have a lot of dialog, it’s more about the emotions and feelings of the characters.  As a second generation Asian-American I felt the connection to Gogol and his sister, but I also felt the connection to the parents, since mine essentially did the same thing.  They came to the US to find more opportunities, not only for them, but for myself and my sister. 

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