Movie Review: The Kite Runner Khalid Abadalla, Atossa Leoni) 2007

Posted: April 7, 2012 in Comedy
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Amir (Zakeria EBrahimi and Hassan (Ahmad Khan Malmoodzada) were the best of friends growing up.  Amir was the son of a wealthy man named Baba (Homayoun Ershadi) Hassan is the son of a servant in Baba’s house, but it hardly seems to matter.  They spend every waking hour together and they love to fly kites, a major hobby in Afghanistan.  Amir wants to be a writer, his father wishes he would engage in more manly pursuits.  After winning a big kite tournament in his neighborhood, Hassan goes to retrieve the losing kite, Hassan is a kite runner. On this day, Hassan is beaten and molested by a bunch of older bullies, led by a boy named Assef.  Amir reaches the scene of the crime in time, but does not stop the rape, instead he runs away. Besieged by guilt Amir accuses Hassan of stealing his watch, Hassan agrees even though he didn’t do it.  Amir is just happy not to see Hassan every day, but the guilt mounts.

Amir (Abadalla) makes it out of Afghanistan before the Soviet   invasion, he settles in California, marries a girl named Soraya  (Leoni) and seemingly leaves his painful life behind.  But tragedy seems to follow Amir to America, his father Baba dies, and Amir can’t father a child of his own. He also learns from his father’s friend Rahim Khan, (Shaun Toub) that Hassan was really Amir’s half brother, and that he has been killed by the Taliban, but Hassan’s son is available to be adopted.  Trouble is, the country is overrun by Taliban, and Assef, the boy who raped Hassan is holding Hassan’s son, and daring Amir to come get him.  Does Amir redeem himself by risking his life to go get his nephew out of Afghanistan?

This is a very sad, but thoroughly engaging and spellbinding movie that actually stays true to the source material.  At times the coincidences in book and movie seem a little too big. What are the odds that the same bully that beat and molested your best friend/half brother is the same guy holding your nephew?  It wouldn’t happen in real life, but the book is enthralling enough to make it seem plausible, and the movie keeps up the pace well enough to make the viewer wish for a happy ending.  The only point at which the movie sags is telling the story of the adult Amir (Abadalla) and his wife.  Abadalla and Leoni are bland and uninteresting.  Much like Slumdog Millionaire, the kids steal the show.  Zakaria Ebrehimi and Ahmad Khan Malmoodzada are lively and mesmerizing as young Amir and young Hassan, the viewer laughs with their joys, cries with thir pain, and especially feels Amir’s guilt.  Even though the plot is sometimes far-fetched, the Kite Runner is a movie that everyone should see. It is a plot driven, character driven movie. That is rare in Hollywood.

The Kite Runner.  Let it fly away with your heart.

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