The Kite Runner (2007) Short Review
One of the best films of the past decade, The Kite Runner delivers on everything that you want it to. It’s not quite of the epic variety, but it does have all of the elements that epic films tend to have. It covers many years, several countries and (for a short time in the film) has war as a backdrop.
The central story revolves around two childhood friends who exist on vastly different economic scales. There is an act of cowardice (which leads to a succession of acts) that leads to horribly tragic circumstances. The film never tries to gloss over the failings of the protagonist. He also doesn’t willfully return to his homeland to try and right SOME of the wrong that he has rendered, either. The stakes have to be raised a little for him to be too overcome with the guilt that he carries with him.
There are at two or three scenes that I found difficult to watch even though it never lingers too long on the violence. It’s quite beautiful. This is a film I wish that I had seen this on the big screen, because it does immerse you into the region with the visuals. I think I’m going to have to start calling films like this landscape films. The Afghan backdrop (along with the Pakistan and US locations) is impressive in a desolate sort of way.
Marc Foster directed the kind of film that translates well in any language (there are several spoken in the movie). The actors (especially the kids) seem more like real people than characters. Khalid Abdalla completes a GIANT character arc started by Zekeria Ebrahimi; both playing incarnations of Amir, the central character.
Although, the story is effectively simple in how the story is presented, it has some subtleties if you’re paying attention. Every bit as inspiring as it purports to be, the Kite Runner is a rare film and it made my top 10 of 2007 (that was a great year in film) and my Best of the 2000s..