For You, A Thousand Times Over… (The Kite Runner)

February 24, 2008 at 9:00 am | Posted in movies | Leave a comment

To Rahim Khan, the man who read my stories before I knew how to write them…

The Kite Runner
PJ Cinemas – February 20, 2008

My plan originally was to read the book first, then see the movie. I have heard from several people that the book is fantastic and well worth reading. If it were not for the 80th Annual Academy Awards, I may have held to that plan. The Kite Runner has been nominated for Best Film Score, though not for Best Foreign Film. (Subtitles aren’t everything, I guess… haha) Since the score for Atonement has also been nominated, it should be interesting to see the outcome in that category.

The Kite Runner (trailer which contains spoilers!) begins with the tale of two boys who are friends. Hassan, who is the son of the servant for the family of other boy, Amir. The story is set in Kabul, Pakistan and spans through a time before and after the Taliban occupation. Before the overwhelming devastation of war, children could run and play in the streets, filled with the smell of lamb kabobs. It was a time of innocence for the children, but for the reality of the Russian invasion causes Amir’s family to flee to America. Most of the film contains subtitles during scenes in Afghanistan.

Due to the strong themes in this book/film, I am going to reserve the plot spoilers for another well-written review from Ripple Effects, from someone who had read the book and seen the film. Here is the link for this review: The Kite Runner: Book Into Film.

This was a good film. The cinematography is beautiful and the acting across the board is well-executed. I am glad to have seen it in the movie theater because the size of the film locations added a certain weight to the tone of the film. The optimistic and happy scenes seemed somehow happier. The controversial and dangerous scenes gain momentum when seen on a large scale.

The Kite Runner is directed by Marc Forster and adapted for screen by David Benioff. Benioff also adapted 25th Hour, which was directed by Spike Lee and was the first film to shoot in the post 9/11 ruins of the World Trade Center. Forster directed most recently the 2006 film, Stranger than Fiction (also reviewed by Ripple Effects.) His renaissance choice in projects thus far – his canon also includes Monster’s Ball and Finding Neverland – shows a range and dedication to craft that is inspirational and refreshing. I anticipate with joy his future work.

RATING: ****/5
Recommendation: It’s worth seeing, but I wish I had read the book first. The strong, controversial content dampened my need to read it, but maybe in a couple of years when I have forgotten about the movie completely I’ll have a fresh mind. 🙂

the kite runner

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