The Namesake which is base on Pulitzer Prize winning book by Jhumpa Lahiri is a movie about the Indian immigrants who came to America for a better life. Ashoke (husband) and Ashima (wife) bore a son in an American hospital. Since the hospital resists to discharging the baby without a baby name, the husband and wife was force to name the baby.
The husband and wife gave Gogol as the baby name. The name came from the favorite author of father named Nikolai Gogol. Unlike their Indian roots, Gogol is actually one of the popular Russian baby names.
In India, the families may give a birth name. After a few years, they may decide to change the birth name to an actual Indian baby name. And, the families would consult their friends and relatives for the best Indian baby names. At the end, they would know the genealogy, meaning, and origin of the baby name.
At elementary school, Gogol prefers his given baby name. At four years old, he was too young to know. Growing up in American, he was often teased about his name. He started to hate and wanted to change his name. After hearing about the biography of Nikolai Gogol, Gogol consulted his family to change his name. Then, he managed to chang his name to Nick.
Meanwhile, Nick slowly loses his Indian customs and traditions. He started to date an American girl who is played by Jacinda Barrett. He is also spending more time with the family of his girlfriend.
Later, Nick introduced his American girlfriend to his parents. They had wonderful dinner except for the dessert. Ashoke forgot about the dessert. Ashoke and Nick went out to get the dessert. It is the perfect time to reveal the secret. Ashoke revealed the story behind Gogol.
Working far away from home, Ashoke regularly visits his father by train. There was a regular passenger who always recommends the book of Nikolai Gogol. Ashoke began to read Nikolai Gogol which became his favorite author. Unfortunately, the train had an accident. Many perished from the accident.
Laying on the ground helpless face down, Ashoke holds the first few pages which show the title and author of the book. The first few pages sticks up and waves as the wind passes. The medical team who is searching for survivors notices the first few pages of the book. That first few page of the book saves the life of Ashoke. After the accident, the life of Ashoke was blessed and meaningful. Ashoke decided to name the baby as Gogol.
After a few years, Ashoke died. Nick started to think about his Indian roots which caused the break up with his American girlfriend. The events lead to meet a Bengali girl who was arranged to marry him. Nick started to like her. And, they got married in a traditional Indian marriage.
Finding the love affair of his wife, Nick confronted her. Later, Nick was single once again.
Here comes the time to sell the parents house. Ashima wants to be liberated. Like her name, Ashima is a baby name meaning limitless or boundary less. As they are moving and packing, Nick discovered the book of Nikolai Gogol which was given as gift by his father. On the first pages, there was a note to Nick which brings tears in his eyes. The book started to grow on him. He began to read the book.
We rate the Namesake as five out of five stars. When you can see the movie for rent or theater, you should do yourself a favor to watch. The movie will open your mind to the importance of baby names.