The Kite Runner is based on successful the book of the same name by Khaled Hosseini. The film is centred on two friends growing up in Afghanistan in the 1970's. One boy Amir is a wealthy Pushtun and his friend the eternally loyal Hassan is the son of his Hazara servant.
The boys' great friendship changes when one day Hassan is attacked and Amir, while witnessing it, doesn't go to help. Amir is overcome with guilt over his cowardliness but can only deal with this by distancing and ultimately causing Hassan and his father, Ali to be driven out of the home.
Then in 1979 the Russian's invade Afghanistan when Amir and his father flee to America. Years later when Amir is happily married he finds the childhood friendship and the debt to Hassan pulls him back to a much changed, dangerous and Taliban controlled Afghanistan.
This was always going to be a difficult film to make, the book it is based on is rich and detailed, and also much loved. I was moved by the book but felt overall strangely unmoved by the film. The child actors are great although I felt that there was not enough exploration of Amir's guilt over the attack on Hassan.
Also I felt that the film overall seemed to focus more on life in the USA rather than the original friendship, and the ultimate journey of redemption that Amir makes. There was also lots of stereotypes in particular on the return journey. For me as well the ending felt rushed and almost feels wrapped up like a made for TV film. Not a patch on the book, which is a shame.
From the book The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini ISBN 978-0747566533
Directed by Marc Forster
Khalid Abdalla – Amir
Atossa Leoni – Soraya
Shaun Toub – Rahim Khan
Sayed Jafar Masihullah Gharibzada – Omar
Zekeria Ebrahimi – young Amir
Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada – young Hassan
Read more at: Nerve Curve