Based on the book by Jhumpa Lahiri, Mira Nair’s The Namesake tries to do too much and ends up doing too little. Obviously enamored of the material, Nair wants to cram as much of the original plot as she can, which ends up giving short shrift to the multiple story lines and character arcs.

The story is of Gogol Ganguli, an American of Asian Indian descent struggling to assimilate as quickly as possible yet feeling a certain disconnect that comes from divorcing yourself from your heritage. A classic immigrant’s tale, Gogol must find a way to successfully marry the two parts of himself, torn between society and his family.

Grade B-

The Namesake is currently available.