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With: Khalid Abdalla, Atossa Leoni, Shaun Toub, Zekeria Ebrahimi, Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada, Homayoun Ershadi, Nabi Tanha, Elham Ehsas
Written by: David Benioff, based on a novel by Khaled Hosseini
Directed by: Marc Forster
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for strong thematic material including the rape of a child, violence and brief strong language
Language: English, Dari, Pashtu, Urdu, Russian, with English subtitles
Running Time: 122
Date: 10/05/2007

The Kite Runner (2007)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Strings Attached

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Based on a much-loved novel by Khaled Hosseini, Marc Forster's The Kite Runner is yet another coming-of-age story, with complex emotions and developments distilled into simplistic clich├ęs; it's as middle-of-the-road as they come. A wealthy Afghani boy, Amir (Zekeria Ebrahimi), is a budding writer and loves flying kites with his best friend Hassan (Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada), even if they occupy different social classes, until a terrible incident causes the boys to grow apart. Hassan, running through the streets to retrieve the fallen kite, is loyal and perfect to a fault, while Amir is frustratingly passive. Later the grown up Amir (Khalid Abdalla) lives in San Francisco and has published his first book. He gets a call that Hassan needs help and must return to modern-day Afghanistan. The film is a cross-cultural mess. Forster sees Afghanistan as a complete outsider and forces a Western perspective on the story, ignoring the bits that don't quite fit. The most infuriating thing of all, however, is watching the talented Homayoun Ershadi stuck in a one-dimensional role as Amir's father, and, worse, knowing that more people are going to see him in this than in his greatest role, in Abbas Kiarostami's masterpiece Taste of Cherry. The Kite Runner

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