Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore

  Publicity Stills of
"The Kite Runner"
(Courtesy from UIP)

Genre: Drama
Director: Marc Forster
Cast: Wali Razaqi, Saïd Taghmaoui, Shaun Toub, Nasser Memarzia
RunTime: 2 hrs 8 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: PG (Some disturbing scenes)

Official Website: www.kiterunnermovie.com

Opening Day: 31 January 2008


An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from the final days of Afghanistan's monarchy to the atrocities of the Taliban reign. This unforgettable story of redemption is based on the best selling phenomena "The Kite Runner."

Movie Review:

If there can be a word used to describe The Kite Flyer, it would be "magnificent". It's straightforward in its narrative, yet contained within are multiple facets that enriches and lifts the story to dizzying heights, from characterization to a slight macro look at history, punctuated with the right emotions, and fueled by universal themes of friendship and redemption.

The Kite Runner, adapted from the novel by Khaled Hosseini, tells the story of Amir in three acts, set against the recent Afghan history of the pre-Soviet invasion, the invasion, and the reign of the Taliban.

The first act is a romanticized reminiscence of life during the carefree days, where growing up with class privileges, Amir (Zakeria Ebrahimi) and his best friend Hassan (Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada) train to be the best kite fighters, the Sultans of Kabul as they would call themselves. In their free time, they would visit the cinemas to watch Steve McQueen in action, or sit under a tree to listen to Amir tell one of his imaginative (and sometimes bizarre) stories. Their friendship however, on the surface, doesn't extend to home, where Hassan still maintains his boy servant distance, though still fiercely protective of his master Amir, inside and out of the house.

However, a moment of suffering utmost shame while defending the honor of his master leads to the start and precursor of worse things to come. In behaving cowardly under the guise of self-preservation, there is this much talked about scene which thankfully isn't exploitative, and despite its short length, is still sickening to have known that it happened (to the character). The movie explores how because of the lack of moral courage, those in positions of power are not doing enough, and what they should, to help those who are under them.

The introduction packed a powerful punch in establishing the characters, and calibrated emotions during key scenes, but somehow the second act seemed to waver a little in its focus of Amir (now played by Khalid Abdalla) and his father Rahim Kahn (Shaun Toub), in their new found homeland in America. It kind of resembled Mira Nair's The Namesake, with a migrant family finding new life and adjustment in the land of the free, with nice touches of comedy and emotional moments shared between father and son. In fact the father figure, more often than not, stole the show and chewed up the scenes with his immense charisma, with his character being one that is most admirable in the standing up for his beliefs, a quality that he feared had not been instilled in his son Amir. You'll find yourself saluting his unwavering morals, and his concept of equating Sin and Theft, but as the adage says, to never judge a book by its cover.

Redemption comes into play to wrap it all up. At this stage it's as close to an action sequence filled with high tension as you can get, with Amir coming face to face with an enemy from the past, in Taliban controlled Afghanistan. Director Marc Forster managed to get it right, without over-romanticizing or condemning - while general swipes were made at the religious zealots and leaders for their close-mindedness, he brought them all under a keen microscopic eye viewing the hypocrisy of it all.

The movie allowed for a glimpse of the Afghan culture, of the things they enjoyed for leisure (the kite competitions, the cinemas) to a devoid of such entertainment when the Taliban took over, with the much touted reports of stadiums turned into execution grounds making its entry to the movie too, which demonized the Talibans in the process, with their insatiable appetite of committing atrocities on young children. And needless to say, the kite flying / battle scenes were extremely nicely done, fusing real life action sequence with visual effects, that it's almost hard to tell the difference, except having the camera clue you in.

It's a pity that the movie is scheduled to be out only toward the end of January 2008, so you can do yourself a favour now, by looking for it come the new year. A definite must watch!

Movie Rating:

(The Kite Runner is a beautiful runaway success - emotionally gripping and immensely touching)

Review by Stefan Shih


. The Italian (2005)

. Water (2005)

. Paradise Now (2005)

. Schizo DVD (2004)

DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.