Front Office Crew: Gogol (Kal Penn), Ashima (Tabu), Ashoke (Irfan Khan), Moushumi Mazumdar (Zuleikha Robinson), Maxine (Jacinda Barrett)
Back Office Crew: Story Writer (Jhumpa Lahiri), Producers (Lydia Dean Pilcher & Mira Nair), Associate Producer (Dinaz Stafford), Director (Mira Nair), Screenwriter (Sooni Taraporevala), Set Decorator (Lydia Marks & Sharmistha Roy), Lyrics (Nitin Sawhney), Casting (Cindy Tolan & Tess Joseph), Cinematography (Frederick Elmes), Music Director (Linda Cohen)
Support Office Crew: Production Designer (Stephanie Carroll), Art Director (Tanmoy Chakraborty), Executive Producer (Ronnie Screwvala, Taizo Son & Yasushi Kotani), Co Producer (Lori Keith Douglas, Yukie Kito & Zarina Screwvala), Art Director (Suttirat Anne Larlarb), Editor (Allyson C. Johnson), First Assistant Director (Michael Decasper & Dylan Gray), Costume Designer (Arjun Bhasin), Supervising Sound Editor (Dave Paterson), Sound (Ed Novick), Second Unit Director of Photography (Jay J. Odedra)
Story: This is a story of two generations of a Bengali family during the era of late 1970s. First generation middle class family moves from Calcutta to New York and trying to adopt the change from tradition to modernity, trying to balance the deep ritual roots versus the modern culture. Ashima is a classical singer and Ashoke is an engineer and both get married in their home town in Calcutta. Ashoke gets a job in US in the year 1977 after their marriage and both shift to New York City. The couple is totally strange trying to accommodate to the changed weather conditions (extreme winter) & loneliness. The funny ways of learning new technologies and culture by Ashima are the lighter moments of the movie. Few years later when Ashima gives birth to a boy in a hospital, they are required to name their son before they leave the hospital, and Gogol is the name given to the newly born boy. (The name comes into existence as many years back in 1974 when Ashoke was visiting his grandparent’s house, before his marriage to Ashima, by train, his train met with a serious accident but he survived. When that accident happened, he was reading the Russian Author Nikolai Gogol and thus Gogol becomes a good luck sign for him). Later they give their son an Indian name Nikhil. After another couple of years Ashima gives birth to their daughter Sonia. It becomes very difficult for the couple to inculcate their deep rooted cultural values in Nikhil and Sonia. Nikhil becomes a rebellion in school and adopts American culture very fast by starting smoking in school and becoming die hard rock-n-roll fan. Nikhil falls in love with an American girl Maxine who is not acceptable to Nikhil’s family. Later he falls in love with another girl Moushumi who like him is away from her Indian roots living in US. Moushumi is as confused about their Indian cultural values as Nikhil and the relationship does not shape well.
My take on the movie: The acting by everyone is really marvelous. Tabu has been consistently acting well since last many years in all her movies. Irfan is a perfect actor. The couple has lived well on screen from their youth to old very swiftly and excellently. Kal Penn and Zuleikha Robinson have acted well depicting as fighting youths between two extremely cultural values. Jacinda Barrett has also acted well as a completely independent girl fully engrossed in American culture not knowing the emotional attachments and believing only in physical relationship. Overall a perfect direction and acting and the scenes where the couple is forced to compromise with their cultural values are putting good impact.
Kids beware there are certain hot scenes.