We've been seeing some great movies this year and so far this one is my favorite. For those of you who haven't heard of it, The Namesake is the story of a family of Indian immigrants. Kal Penn plays the title role, a second generation Indian-American who struggles to figure out how to reconcile his parents' culture with the one he's grown up with. Despite the fact that I'm quite a bit more removed from the country of my ancestors (even by the shortest route, I'm still third generation), Penn's identity crisis still struck a chord with me and I recognized a lot of his issues as familiar. On the other hand, as Juliette and I discussed afterwards, a lot of it would be familiar to anyone because, in a way, every family has its own separate culture. In any case, I absolutely loved this movie. Those of you used to thinking of Kal Penn in movies like Van Wilder and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle may be surprised by how good a dramatic actor he is. His performance in this film is a little rough at first but he eventually finds his groove and does some really amazing work. Even better were Irfan Khan and Tabu, who played Penn's parents. I was just blown away by how beautiful their relationship was, by the quiet love that they shared both for each other and for their children. I really can't praise this movie enough.
Viewed: 3/22/2007 | Released: 3/8/2007 | Score: A