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Movie Review: Namesake

Alternate Title: What's in a Name

Story: If you like films with unhurried storytelling, wonderful acting, sweeping, memorable cinematography and terrific direction than give yourself a treat and go to see Namesake.

Director Mira Nair once again delivers an honest, true account of an immigrant experience and the generational conflicts that develop from assimilation. It is based on the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri with a screenplay by Sooni Taraporevala.

The story laps three decades in the Ganguli family. From their arranged marriage, to a move to the US (Queens, NY), through the birth of their children, suburbia, first generation angst, culture clash, to tragedy to epiphany. The story itself is not new but the storytelling is luscious.

Take the time, sit back and enjoy the slow ride. Oh yes, and afterwards, go have a samosa.

Acting: Kal Penn, best known for his goofy portrayal in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, shows he can act and is a perfect fit in this role. Tabu and Irfan Khan, as the parents, are huge Bollywood stars and are flawless in their roles. The rest of the cast is terrific as well.

Predilection: I like 'all things Indian' and am lucky to have a friend (Sunjit), who is also first generation Indian. We go to Indian films and Indian art exhibits together. He is my 'Indianologist' and resident Sikh.

Critters: Surprisingly none

Food: Samosas, chocolate birthday cake and oodles of delicious looking Indian food.

Blatant Product Placement: Rice Krispies

Soundtrack: A wonderful blend and east and west

Opening Titles: A visual treat of color, sound and type.

Visual Art: Cinematographer Frederick Elmes creates images that are hard to forget.

Theater Audience: More people than I expected for a Monday afternoon.

Weather: It is hot in India and chilly in Queens.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I thought it could have been a few minutes shorter, but that is nary a complaint.

Predictability Level: I did not read the book but had a pretty good idea where the film was headed.

Tissue Usage: Both Sunjit and I needed a tissue.

Oscar Worthy: I loved the cinematography but doubt it will get a nod.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen would be better, For some of Mira Nair's other films, try renting: Vanity Fair, Monsoon Wedding, Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, The Perez Family, Mississippi Masala and Salaam Bombay!

Length: A spit over two hours.