The Namesake review

Having lost ground with her stumbling adap of Vanity Fair, Mira Nair finds her feet again with an elegant family saga cut from the same sari as Monsoon Wedding. Essentially Bend It Like Beckham without the football, it’s a familiar tale of culture clash charting the differing expectations of a traditional Bengali couple who emigrate to America and their assimilated, first-generation son. But it’s one that casts a spell thanks to committed performances across the board and Nair’s sharp eye for local colour. Jade Goody could learn a thing or two from watching sullen teenager Gogol come to embrace his birthright and the peculiar provenance of his literary moniker. And if the pace is ultimately too measured to make this much more than a moderately diverting amble, it’s good to know nominal lead Kal Penn now has something more substantial on his resumé than Harold & Kumar Get The Munchies.

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