Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My first review for the Westender--The Kite Runner

My review ran in last week's Westender, and I'm really excited about working with such an awesome paper.

The Kite Runner Review
By Andrea Warner

The complexities of our childhood actions often misshape and indulge our understanding of the world we grow up in. The Kite Runner, based on the best-selling book of the same name by Khaled Hosseini, and directed by Marc Forster, is a thought-provoking film that asks us to reconcile who we are with who we become.

The story sprawls from 1978 to 2000, focusing on childhood best friends Amir and Hassan. By 1979, Amir's betrayal and subsequent guilt tears the friends apart, and when war comes, the boys are further separated as Amir flees Afghanistan with his father. Entire lives have passed by the time Amir must make a dangerous return to Kabul to rescue Hassan's son from the Taliban.

The first-time actors who play young Amir and Hassan are gifted performers. Homayoun Ershadi, in particular, is remarkable as Amir's father, filling the character with conviction, grace and dignity.

Equally impressive is the choreography of the kite-flying competition that is as intense an air battle as any between fighter pilots. The film does stretch on for 15 minutes too long, and occasionally second-guesses itself with needless exposition.

Unfortunately, Afghanistan is a mystery to most North Americans, who see it alternately as the war-torn playground of the Taliban, a black hole for Canadian troops, or a devastation of women's rights. Thankfully, this film compels us to know Afghanistan better. This is The Kite Runner's real triumph: deftly using Afghanistan as a silent main character. Catalyst and background have never melded so effortlessly.

250 words

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