The movie’s focal point was on an Indian immigrant couple coming from Calcutta to the United States after an arranged marriage. They give birth to their son, and without even thinking name him Gogol after a famous Russian author. Gogol’s father gave him that name serving a link to a secret past, and the hope of a better future. The family is forced to come to terms with living in a new culture and introducing their son to their heritage.
The movie shows the families struggles, and hardships, cultural values/norms, deviance, rituals, cultural identity, gender roles, and how they balance the two cultures. The Indian immigrant’s son Gogol had little interest in his Indian heritage. Reaching his teenage years, Gogol became an Americanized teenager trying to fit in with his New Yorker friends. He rejected his given name, rebelled against his parents, smoked marijuana in his bedroom, and dated a rich preppy blonde named Maxine. Later, Gogol’s name was changed to Nickhil, which eventually was shortened to Nick.
At this point Gogol’s parents were not sure how to deal with Gogol cutting off their Indian heritage. After taking a trip to India with his parents after his high school graduation, Gogol decides that he wants to become an architect. From this point on, his life was forever changed by this simple trip. Living in the United States was a struggle for both Gogol, and his family Deviance took a toll in their lives. The way people act, think, or the way people appear in the United States, were much different in India.
The adjustment for Gogol’s parents was rough on them, as well as the adjustment for Gogol when he visited India for the first time. After Gogol’s father passed away, Gogol realized that he must accept his heritage. He learns that the customs he tried to break free from, after all are very important to his mother, and the rest of his family. Unfortunately for Gogol, he realized what he missed, when it was no longer there. As he gets older, he realizes that even though he was not born in India, it is still possible and important for him to practice their traditions.