The Kite Runner: novel & movie

This first novel from Khaled Hosseini, is one of the most moving books I’ve read in the last years. Above all, its pages are a magistral lesson of humanity.
It is a story of friendship, betrayal, fathers and sons, war, love and fate. The story is set in Afghanistan, the author’s homeland, taking on from the 70’s before the soviet invasion and the establishment of the Taliban regime. Hosseini recreates a powerful portray of Kabul city and the afghan society of the time, through visual and subtile descriptions, mostly integrated in the action and the dialogues including some simple afghan terms. It provides an overview of the country’s culture, political situation and historical events; very interesting for those, who like myself, had a very poor idea about this land.

The story line follows Amir’s life, a young middle class, educated afghan boy, story writer, as he grows up in Kabul, next to his illiterate best friend and servant Hassan,story listener, whose loyalty will cross unsuspected borders.
When the story starts, as both kids joyfully play together flying kites, they can’t never imagine, nor the reader, what life will bring them.
The reader becomes a witness of all the characters’ sins and decisions, which will draw the future milestones of their lives.

When the war strikes Afghanistan, Amir and his father leave the country in precarious conditions, going through a forced displeasing adventure and they start a new life in U.S.
After various years, Amir receives unexpected news form Rahim Khan, one of his father’s friends with whom he’d forged a special relationship; news which reveal ancient secrets which will force Amir to go back to afghanistan, in a dangerous journey, to redeem his past mistakes.

The plot is full of turns and strong emotions, carefully composed and narrated, in an enchanting poetic way. The universal feelings are carefully explored through out the different characters and the relationships between them. Although it is a drama, for the facts that take place and the situation and fate of the characters, nothing is actually dramatized, but taken as it comes.

The dialogues are bright, reveling the characters’ essence, moving the story forward and displaying philosophical reflexions and smart quotes about human nature. It will make you cry more that laugh but it is a delightful reading.

Although Hosseini is a biologist ,he is committed to literature and to his homeland, unfortunately one of the countries, world wide, with the highest rate of illiteracy. You can check out his personal web site, linked to The Afghan Library program which tries to compensate this lack, promoting libraries and educating programs for children. As well, on the web site, at the end of this month Hosseini will answers the reader’s questions through small video clips.

About the movie:

In march, this year, the film of the Kite Runner was released, directed by Marc Foster.
The movie is quite faithful to the book, I guess partly because Khaled Hosseini worked along with the screenwriter David Benioff, who has made a good adaptation of the novel. It visually gets to portray the essence and atmosphere which the book conveys.

Both boys playing the roles of the young Hassan and Amir: Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada and Zekeria Ebrahim, give great acting performances, the former was actually awarded as best young actor by the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Not only the youngsters but all the cast offer powerful interpretations, without being outstanding they give a balanced sense of credibility, of something very quotidian which makes the viewer connect with the characters crossing the cultural boundaries.

Photography is also very well achieved, splendid colors and landscapes, and the art work is worth mentioning as, although the film was shot in China due to the danger that it supposed to shoot in Afghanistan at the time, the scenarios are carefully recreated.The plot moves on building up the tension just as in the book, the most cruel facts are very subtilely shown, the directors choice of what is shown in every moment is on my own taste very appropriate.It was nominated by the academy for its soundtrack, and it is true that the music provides the movie with an extra charm that delicately accompanies the action.
It is not a specially fancy production in any technical aspect, but smart enough to make the viewer feel the experience, forgetting he is watching a movie, an achievement which I highly value.

Moreover, let me point out an interesting trivia about the movie, it is known that in Afghanistan living conditionds are still harsh and due to the extended existence of male rape, Paramount Vantage will take care of the young afghan actors, providing economic support for their education and well being until they grow over eighteen. This effort, implies that the children will be moved to the Arab Emirates and their guardians will be provided with a job.

In conclusion, it is an enveloping and moving film, worth seeing, but I recommend reading the book first.
If you are interested, in the Elem3ntal store you can find various items related to the the film and author.

Rebeca

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5 Responses to “The Kite Runner: novel & movie”

  1. random October 31, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    abi the author is a male ^

  2. A.L.F August 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    The Kite Runner is most definitely a contemporary classic, on par with Alice Walker’s ‘The Colorado Purple’, and Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’.

    This book should be included into GCSE syllabuses worldwide.

    Please check my blog, which explores the new-found conflicts between video games and literature.

  3. RC Toys February 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    The Kite Runner film is probably one of the most debatable movies of the season. It is a movie which was really pulled from release as the makers started to fear the basic safety of their actors. The film is definitely great and really moving. Together with a roller coaster of emotions a person completely connect to the characters.

  4. movie reviews September 21, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    Awesome web site, I had not noticed elem3ntal.wordpress.com before during my searches!
    Carry on the great work!

  5. abi October 27, 2008 at 1:53 am #

    I love this book and story it is so amazing if i were to watch any movie over and over again i would watch this i watched it 7 times already i love it. IT IS SOOO GREART! Its is Khald’s 1st book and so far best book in the world. She is extremely gifted She is my favourite author ❤

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