The Kite Runner

Movies, Drama
2 out of 5 stars
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Zekeria Ebrahimi and Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada in The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini’s engaging best-seller cries out for a film treatment on an epic scale. But with his uneven, awards-baiting adaptation, Marc Forster seems a tourist both culturally and dramatically. The sledgehammer sentimentality of his Monster’s Ball and Finding Neverland is very much in evidence—and Hosseini’s story, which relies on at least one fatuous contrivance, caters to some of the director’s worst instincts.

In any case, the corrosive guilt that stems from an early episode in the novel has been muted. Beginning in ’70s Afghanistan, the film follows Amir (Ebrahimi, and later a tentative Abdalla) and his servant’s son Hassan (Mahmidzada), whose friendship is poisoned by an incident that, while carefully presented, may have risked endangering the young actors in their native Afghanistan. Despite the controversy, the film itself seems unlikely to get many viewers’ blood boiling, failing to establish the right pace for a narrative that spans decades. (The respectful screenplay is by 25th Hour’s David Benioff.) The most refreshing thing about The Kite Runner may be the decision to film it with a mostly unknown, multilingual cast; it’s good to see Homayoun Ershadi again after his role in Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry—even if there was more tension in that film, in which he rarely left his Land Rover.

By: Ben Kenigsberg

Posted:

Release details

Rated: PG-13
Release date: Friday December 14 2007
Duration: 120 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Marc Forster
Screenwriter: David Benioff
Cast: Khalid Abdalla
Homayoun Ershadi
Zekeria Ebrahimi
Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada
Shaun Toub
Atoosa Leoni
Saïd Taghmaoui
Ali Danish Bakhtyari
Nabi Tanha
Elham Ehsas
Bahram Ehsas
Tamim Nawabi
Qadir Farookh
Abdul Salam Yusoufzai
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