December 5, 2016
The Kite Runner.
Review #883: The Kite Runner.
Khalid Abdalla (Amir Qadiri), Zekeria Ebrahimi (Young Amir), Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada (Young Hassan), Homayoun Ershadi (Agha Sahib), Atossa Leoni (Soraya), Shaun Toub (Rahim Khan), Saïd Taghmaoui (Farid), Abdul Salaam Yusoufzai (Assef), and Elham Ehsas (Young Assef) Directed by Marc Forster (#384 - Quantum of Solace and #542 - World War Z)
The Kite Runner (based off the novel of the same name) manages to be satisfactory in the simplest sense of the word, but I feel that this probably worked better as a novel than as a film. It's not so much that it lasts over two hours (128 minutes, to be precise) as it feels a bit stilted in drama. The first act of the film (with the children) is neatly crafted in drama and it manages to create some atmosphere, while having a shocking development that is carefully executed. The kite running is something that manages to evoke wonder and fun, in part because I hadn't heard of kite running before. The child actor are fairly entertaining as well. Though technically an American film, Dari is used for a great portion of the film, which is noteworthy. It seems there is a good amount to like (and that is true), but I feel the flaws lie a bit with the second half. Once it gets to adult Amir, I feel that it isn't as compelling, feeling more like it is going through the motions of melodrama without a real sense of fulfillment. It's not so much the movie doesn't have enough emotion, it just doesn't seem to have the right amount of connection. It doesn't run out of steam, it just comes off as faint where it really could have registered as something more. The main cast (Abdalla, Ershadi, Leoni) are pretty compelling in their own ways, though I find Ershadi's character more relateable that Abdalla's to care about. On the whole, it doesn't so much drag as just move a bit slow, but it is somewhat entertaining with a fair amount of impact, even if it isn't as good as it could have been.
Overall, I give it 7 out of 10 stars.