The Opening Night show and bash
The San Jose Film festival continues to offer the exciting and dynamic screen offerings from around the world and
Namesake, a relationship bittersweet drama directed by Mira Nair, was a delighul choice to open Cinequest.
Namesake blends the difference between America and India, between Calcutta and New York, between young hearts living in a bicultural world. Namesake is an engaging story embracing family tradition and expectation that clashes with American individualism and expediency.
Set in the 70s, after an arranged marriage, Ashoke and Ashima (played by Bollywood actors Tabu and Irfan Khan) move to New york from Calcutta and raise a family. While husband Ashoke copes, wife Ashima struggles pretty much with everything about her new country. That angst is picked up by their son, Gogol, who tries to fit in, tries hard not to be different. When he loses perspective of past and heritage, it’s brought back to him when he learns the truth behind his being named Gogol.
Nair captures life on both sides of the globe and the struggle between self determination and family expectation are excited. Tradition, playing an important role, ultimately overcomes the strong pull of American freedom and returns Gogol to accept his life and legacy. “Namesake” is an outstanding example of intelligent filmmaking and storytelling.