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Funny, my new "we're kind of seeing each other" sorta-girlfriend and I almost watched a pirated "Namesake" DVD this weekend, but ended up not having time. I'd seen it already -- for free, but legitimately, at an NYC pre-release screening a few months ago -- but she hadn't. It was comical how the DVD was a blank TDK DVD-R with "NAME" scrawled on it in permanent marker. The sound was tinny, but the DVD menus and graphics were surprisingly high quality for a bootleg.

I'd love to help you, but I ran this blog post by The New Girl, and she said no. The store owners are friends of hers, and she doesn't want to antagonize them. And I don't want to antagonize her, especially because she's The New Girl, and we're still getting to know one another and putting our best foot forward.

But it's from an Indian store in Fremont, California. (Are there any other kind in Fremont?) Maybe you can work with that. :-)


I went out of town to visit the parents for Mother's Day and my mom listed "Namesake" at the top of her list for choice of movies to go see that evening. I had not even heard of it but, being Mother's Day, we went to see it. I had no idea what to expect...no preconceptions whatsoever (which often works for the good of the movie).

I really liked it and was moved by Gogel's struggle between the culture he was raised in and the culture of his parents. Also, I liked that it explored the unique position 2nd generations find themselves in where their hearts reside within both cultures. In that way, it reminded me of Amy Tan's essay, "My Mother's Tongue." I have several friends in this position and have seen glimpses of it up close.

Is this an American movie? If so, I'm glad to see that "we"(I'm not in the idustry...just mean "we" as in Americans) are starting to branch out to explore cultures that so many people who live in the small towns are unfamiliar with.

By the way, during the movie, I said, "that's the guy in this movie I saw on TV the other day: "Harold and Kumar Goes to White Castle"" and my mother said, "oh yeah." Huh? My mother saw that? LOL.

Good luck with the movie...I think you need to do a little more advertising. It would be nice if this could be successful.

Lana Kent

Good luck with finding the dvd pirates! Don't mainstream movie-makers write-off a part of the proceeds to piracy anyhow?
Just curious but what happens to this blog once the Namesake is no longer a "new" movie?
Will it be deleted? Abandoned?


i've watched it 5 times.. i cant get enough og it.. so when is it coming out on DVD then.. if i head to the theaters to watch it AGAIN i'll have to pull another loan for my tuition!

desi girl

sorry guys, it's not just the pirated dvd's you need to be worried about, it's the uploads to the internet, where people can watch the entire movie on their computer. And yes, The Namesake is already available on the internet, I saw the link to it on a message board a few days ago.

Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

I saw the film in a small art theater in upstate, rural New York. I have very few cultural referents about India, and there was a lot I didn't catch, but when the movie ended I astounded myself and my partner by bursting into sobs, remembering my parents who died when I was quite young, perhaps around the same age as Gogol. I'm now 46, but the film brought me back twenty years to the intensity of the feelings I had as a young person. What a great film!


hey all,
i watched already this film. Oh God! It's very touching and i luv it.!

Renee Roberta Nash

My daughter, Nessa, and I live in a fairly redneck town in Southwestern Washington state (Longview), down by the Oregon border. This is not the sort of movie that usually plays well here. Too thoughful and artsy I guess.

Plus, it's about a different culture, and there's just too many close-minded people in this town for there to even be any curiosity to see it.

It's pretty down here, but there's just too many jerks that populate this place and I really long for Seattle, where I grew up, that has more like-minded people.

Nessa works in a neighbouring town (Kelso), at a little gem of an independent Ma and Pa-run theatre that tries very hard to show quality cinema, from time to time.

What a surprise it was that they are showing "The Namesake"!

After a particularly frustrating day (I care for my 89-year-old Dad, who has Alzheimer's), she suggested that I come see a movie....so I did.

I really have to say that this is my new favourite indie-type movie. I totally loved it! I cried several times...it was quite moving, and even had a few things hit home, for me. That parent-child dynamic.

I have now recommended it to my LiveJournal and MySpace pals, and hopefully some will see it and recommend it to their friends.

It just really touched me, and will stay with me for a while, I'm certain.

It's a really beautiful film, and you all should absolutely be very proud of it.

Thank you for such a wonderful couple of hours. I plan to buy it when it comes out on DVD. Seriously.

Take care.....

Arthi Chand

Hello Kal Penn... i just wanted to say that i really really enjoyed this movie and so did my parents. We are a Hindu family growing up in a american society. My sister, little brother and I can relate to this story because we are american born and after seeing this movie it not only moved my parents but us also because it shows that no matter where we have grown up we havent forgotten our culture. you did a wonderful job and you are a great actor =]


Just wanted to drop a line (ok many lines) to say the film was really liked here in Bombay/Mumbai, India ( from where i write). The films victory lies in the fact that it feels so real and it all came together so beautifully, the performances, the music everything. havent read the book. strangely dont feel the need to.

Jamie Arpin-Ricci

I suspect a significant number of people are downloading it as a torrent, which makes it very easy for people to pirate. As a great of the book, I also enjoyed the film and hope others will read/see this important work.

Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Sarah Johnson

I saw your film on board my flight home from Singapore with Singapore Airways yesterday (27th June). It was amazing!

When it does get released on DVD I am going to get it for my husband.

Well done!

Sarah in Germany



I'm currently living overseas, but I look forward to going back to the USA and seeing your movie. I just wanted to let you know that my sisters and I adore you, Kal. I'm so happy you're in a serious film that celebrates the struggle of the average American family trying to get ahead in mainstream America while maintaining cultural connections - you deserved to be in a movie like this. That being said, you were pretty hot in Harold and Kumar :)



What does "Gangreen" in the movie mean? It is the name that was written by graffiti on the mailbox of Gogol's family in the movie. I tried looking this term up, but was not able to find out the meaning. If you can pass any information on this I would love to know.

The movie was fantastic - I took three friends to it and we all loved it.


Kal Penn...I always wondered why you don't have a fan site. Anyways I'm an IT Major (Typical Indian-American) turned film editor right out here in LA and I actually work for the same major company that licensed this film and I'm friends with some of the people that worked with Mira on it. Anyways I was wondering if you need a fan site, cause I'd do it! I just have no idea how to reach you! Hope my email appends to this post and you happen to see it!


I have indeed seen a DVD of The Namesake in a small Indian shop here in Basel, Switzerland. I even bought it, so much I had loved the movie at the theatre and the book by Jhumpa Lahiri...
but i soon returned the DVD, because the quality of the images was very poor.... i asked where it came from, as it looked indeed original... they told me the UK.....
The shop had only that one copy.....

I'm going to see the movie again tomorrow - at the movie theatre!! - to share the emotions i felt watching it the first time with some of my closest friends.... this movie is so indescribably beautiful that, instead of telling my friends about it, i'm physically dragging them to see it !! :-)
No predictability, no cliche', only deep true feelings, and reality... you dont have to be a Bengali to understand and relate to all that. Amazing, original photography......... you almost feel you are seeing NYC and the Taj Mahal for the first time!


JUST A COMMENT ON THIS WEBSITE: could you not add the beautiful (like everything else about this movie) soundtrack by Nitin Sawhney as background music?.....


This was such a wonderful movie and I loved the book! However, I must admit that it is a bit frustrating how long it seems to be taking for it to release to DVD. It was out in March! When is it releasing to DVD? I don't remember if it always takes THIS long for a movie to release to DVD, but perhaps letting people know an approximate date would alleviate some people's need to buy it pirated.



This was such a wonderful movie and I loved the book! However, I must admit that it is a bit frustrating how long it seems to be taking for it to release to DVD. It was out in March! When is it releasing to DVD? I don't remember if it always takes THIS long for a movie to release to DVD, but perhaps letting people know an approximate date would alleviate some people's need to buy it pirated.


Donna Mae


I just wanted to say that I went to the premier of this movie last night in Trinidad and Tobago inthe West Indies.

This is an AMAZING film! Thank you for making such a great and timely movie. I was moved to tears.

Kal, you were awesome, as was athe rest of the cast, but I felt your pain and your confusion ... I intend to see thie movie AGAIN!


Unfortunately I missed this movie when it was in the theaters and I really wanted to see it. When is it actually coming out on DVD? Is there a release date? I did see what looked to be a pirated DVD listed in the 3rd party sellers on Amazon.com. You may want to check that out.



Hi, have you realized that somebody named Alan posted some rubbish links on this page of your site? : http://thenamesake.typepad.com/blog/2007/01/dubai_film_fest.html#comments

really an insult to your blog and your beautiful movie - i think they should be deleted immediately !!!


Hi - three sellers on Amazon in the US are advertising the DVD for sale right now. I wanted to use it in a class I'm teaching this fall and didn't see it anywhere else yet, so I bought one. It is definitely a bootleg copy and I hope to be able to return it... Looking forward to the official release.


I can't see my site. why?


This was a great movie, I live in Colorado Springs and I saw it at Kimball's, a great movie theatre that shows independent films. The movie did a great job in showing the difference between India vs the US, but i can't stand waiting for the DVD to come out, I got excited when i saw it at Amazon.com and almost clicked buy but i decided to check this site on any updates on the release first, just to be sure. Well if anyone finds out any information on the DVD and wants to email me at rodgers07@gmail.com that would be great!


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