A great father & son movie! Based on Khaled Hosseini's fictional novel 'The Kite Runner', the movie is very similar to the author time in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1970s. The country yet been ravaged by the 1980's Soviet invasion and subsequent Taliban rule. The movie is very loyal to the book, and there wasn't much different. The movie starts off with Amir (Khalid Abdalla) recalls an event that happened during his childhood, while living in Afghanistan with his father Baba (Homayoun Ershadi) He had a loyal friend named Hassan (Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada) who would often run to get his kite for him. One day, Hassan save his life from bullies, during one such kite-battle. Instead of thanking Hassan, the crude child Amir treats him with shame, because of what happen to him, and out of jealousy whenever Hassan receives Amir's father's affection. They slowly drift apart. The story jumps to March 1981, where Amir's family escape Kabul, before the Soviet invasion and find themselves in America. Feeling guilty of the loyal friend, he mistreat and left behind as a child, the more mature adult, Amir go back to Afghanistan to find Hassan and his son Sohrab (Ali Danish Bakhtyari) to help them reach America. Without spoiling too much, the movie is very controversy when filming. First off, the majority of the film's dialogue is in Dari, with the remainder spoken in English. The child actors are native speakers, but several adult actors had to learn Dari. I glad, the movie had sub-titles, even if it's hard to read in some scenes due to blurs or words blending with the background. Another problem was the children who played Hassan, Amir and Sohrab, and a fourth boy with a smaller role, had to be moved out of the country of Afghanistan where they live during the filming due to threats of kidnapping. The rape scene in the film, along with other abuse at the hands of the Taliban, put the young actors and their families in possible danger, as some Afghans found the episode insulting. Not only that, the kid actors were getting paid a lot more money than the people in Afghanistan were used to. I have to say, all the actors were really good. The pacing for the film was a bit long. Honestly, the whole sub-plot of Amir trying to marry Soraya (Atossa Leoni) with or without their parents' permission was bit too added on. It could had been cut to save time. Glad, they cut Amir has problems with the Embassy regarding the adoption of Sohrab, the attempt suicide or the Nazi whattabe bad guy. That sure wasn't needed. The movie use great symbolism here. The kite serves as a symbol of Amir's happiness as well as his guilt. Flying kites is what he enjoys most as a child, not least because it is the only way that he connects fully with his father, who was once a champion kite fighter and his memories of Hassan. I love the Rostam and Sohrab references. One thing, they were missing was the Cleft Lip symbolism. In the novel, it was Hassan's most representative features as a child. When Amir gets an similar permanent scar much like Hassan's. In a sense, Amir's identity becomes merged with Hassan's. He learns to stand up for those he cares about, as Hassan once did for him, and he becomes a father figure to Sohrab. Because of this, it also serves as a sign of Amir's redemption. Sadly, it wasn't mention. Instead, I do love the father/ son relationship. The relationship between Amir & his father are some of the best scenes in the film. You really see the great desire to please his father in every way when as a child. When Amir grows up, you felt the angry toward his father for the lack of it. The movie use irony symbolism in the three acts structure so well. The things that haunted Amir with guilt in the first act, repeat in the three act, giving him another chance of redemption. I love the theme of the search of redemption and the persistence of the past. This is really told, well. The movie also does a great job showing the brutality that destroys Afghanistan. You can clearly see the different between 1973's Afghanistan to that early 2000's Afghanistan. Great use of locations and the way, Director Marc Forster shot it. The music sore is well done by Alberto Iglesias. It was even nominated for an Academy Award in 2007. For a PG-13 movie, it's still a bit disturbing. It's watchable, but do make sure, you keep tissues, near you, as it will leave you with tears. If you like this movie, check out, Khaled Hosseini second book, "A Thousand Splending Suns,". It's worth the read. Overall: There is a way to be good again, and this movie show one great example of that.
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