Kite Runner, The
Based on the international bestseller, The Kite Runner is a story about friendship, loyalty, and the jelly filling in between. Set in Afghanistan, 1978, Amir and Hassan are best friends. Amir and his father are well off with Hassan and his father as their servants. Despite the social differences, the two boys run through the streets carving up the markets with shouts of laughter and excitement. Most importantly to the story and the characters is that the boys are passionate kite runners. After winning a prestigious competition, Hassan darts through the back alleys to claim the defeated kite. In the process he's cornered by some Shawshank type bullies who do unspeakable things to the young boy. "Nothing is free". Amir, notorious of not standing up for anyone or anything, simply watches as his friend is tortured and mutilated. After the incident, Amir cannot live with what has happened and pushes his friend away.

As history progresses the Russians and the Taliban begin invading the country which forces Amir and his father into exile. Eventually finding their way to the United States, Amir pursues his dreams of becoming a writer, falling in love, and living a normal life. Years later after the publication of his first book, Amir receives a surprising phone call and is forced back to his war torn country in order to set things right with his childhood friend.

I had heard about this book years before the movie came out. I was told time after time to read it and after seeing the movie I can tell there's plenty of potential for a very moving story.

Unfortunately for me the movie felt very disjointed and confused. The story hops back and forth through the years and countries without any transition of frame or time.

Most disappointing is the relationship between the two friends. Whether it be the dialogue, acting, or directing, the realism within the relationship is at times forced and eye rolling.

I'll give the film the benefit of the doubt for those of you interested. I saw Kite Runner in a sardine packed airplane with only half a headphone in ear and a screaming baby in the other. There are definitely some good moments but overall I felt unaffected by a potentially intense and pulling story. Unfortunately potential doesn't earn you stars.


PS. James Bond fans... maybe you should check it out to see how director Marc Forster handles a movie. The director of this film is directing Quantum of Solace. Well... maybe just watch Finding Neverland instead.
Reviewed by: shea
10 Comment(s)
Andy said...
Good to know I can skip it. I kinda wanted to see it when it was out at theaters. The trailer looked (looked) good. It seemed to be surrounded by too much political hype that I felt might be an attempt to make up for a mediocre film
Shea said...
yeah man... a completely average movie... but what almost made it seems worse is that it had the potential to be a great movie.
Paul said...
I read the book and as most people, thought it was amazing. I haven't seen this one yet, though I wonder if the knowledge of the book will fill in the gaps...stay tuned.
Jen said...
Ok. I can't disagree enough about this one. 2.5 stars? Must everything blow up or have monsters/space and time travel/superheroes to warrant a high score?

Seriously, given the environment you watched it in, no wonder you hated it.

I had limited knowledge of the book (as in maybe 4 chapters read) when I watched. And maybe that was enough...but I thought the friendship and subsequent disintegration of the friendship and eventual redemption for Amir was beautifully (if quietly) done. I thought the characters were fleshed out very well, and I had no problems with the time/country jumps.

The only criticism I heard from my daughter who read the entire book was that she thought the main characters were developed well enough, but that you couldn't really understand Assef and why he was so evil.

(I had plenty of his evil-ness, though)

So I say, give it another chance...and it was at least a 4 star movie for me.

What say you Paul?
Shea said...
I thought the movie was tired and forced. I know what I like when I see it and this movie didn't offer much into the world of cinema. The movie is lost in a sea of below of par movies.

And know it must not have all these fantastical things to make a good movie.

Jen... how about going and watching a movie like The Lives of Others or the Counterfeiters and then tell me that the Kite Runner even holds a candle.

I absolutely hated the seen when he goes in search of his lost nephew... finds him... and that lame lame sling shot escape sequence... gag.

Red said...
We're going to see this next week, hopefully. It first came round to our local cinema a couple of months ago, but as the date we were due to go and see it approached, Asterisk grew more and more reluctant, until he finally blurted out that he had zero interest. Then we watched The Battle for Haditha by Nick Broomfield and I think it kind of opened him up to the possibility that a film about the situation in Iraq/Afghanistan might not necessarily be a dirge. Anyway, I've heard mostly good things about it, so I'll give it a go (provided that Aste doesn't pull out again!)
* (asterisk) said...
Saw this. I thought it was very good. I didn't mind the slingshot thing. Worked okay for me. The scene had already been set for that in the letter from Hassan to Amir, so that's cool.

For me, I didn't like the kite scenes. I found that too fake looking. But I went with it, cos I'm good like that.

Not done my review yet, but I'm thinking it'll be high 60s or thereabouts. No "Lives of Others", granted, but a good little movie, playing with multiple languages and mixing up genres.
Shea said...
I am surprised you like this one Aman. I felt this movie was nothing above average.

But we all know I am a huge advocate for veiwing experiences and this definitely was a frustrating one for me.

I agree with the kite scenes as well.
Adam said...
I've heard this book is amazing - and I've also heard good things about the film. I'm curious to see the movie after hearing so much about the book and the heavy issues at play.
Adam said...
I just saw this and I really, really enjoyed it. I would put it at more of a 3.5 area - I just think there was a lot of exposition going on in the dialogue and maybe if you didn't read the book you could've felt a little left out, but I thought the characters and the acting was great - and the story was moving.

I loved Amir's father - great performance. If anything, I think the pacing was a little off. First act was great, second left me wanting to know more about the '70s timeline and the third act picked it all back up