Movie Reviews | Kite Runners & Old Men

The Kite Runner | “There is a way to be good again.” For the first time, in a long time, I can safely say that the book was in fact, better than the movie. This is not to say the movie was terrible; it was actually pretty good. However, the fault lies in the storytelling. The Kite Runner, as a story, is story and plot-driven. The book spends a lot of time building on the back stories and the relationships, to create an impact at certain points and the film, for the sake of time, doesn’t do that. So a lot is lost in that process. It generally felt a bit rushed. The boy who played Hassan as a child was simply excellent, and I heard he has since been flown to the UAE because his family fears for his life by way of ‘the rape scene’ in the film. In fact, the best scenes of the movie were early on, when they relived his childhood. The stoning of the woman in the stadium was kind of disturbing even though it was some what brief. Ever since reading The Kite Runner as well as the Swallows of Kabul, I always wondered what a stadium full of people throwing rocks looked like. It wasn’t as high blown as I’d imagined it in my head. I also always wondered how they managed to get all the rocks off the field so they could continue the game, but I imagine that after the half time entertainment brought to you by the Taliban, there wasn’t much to come back to.

As of now, the film is Golden Globe nominated for best foreign film although I don’t know how foreign it really is when half the movie is in English. It also received a nomination for its musical score, which I must say, is absolutely brilliant. It’s not the kind of music that you’ll just ignore or forget; it really stands out in the film.

A watchable flick: 3/5

No Country For Old Men | “There are no clean getaways.” Everyone knows the Coen Brothers make good movies. Many of them are odd and strange and a bit screwy, but people seem to enjoy them and so do the critics. No Country For Old Men is no different. A hitman chases a Texan whose stumbled upon 2 million worth of drug money, while an aging sheriff chases both, in between dealing with the changing times, in a plot set in 1980. Like most of their movies, the film is character driven, with an emphasis on developing classic and memorable figures. Javier Bardem, who plays the hitman, Anton Chigurh, carries around a cattle gun, his weapon of choice that is bullet-free but makes a deafening sound that’ll send a chill running down your spine. His portrayal might even remind you of Hannibal Lecter; both are just as calculating and psychopathic, but Chigurh is as cold and calm as ever, making it very, very difficult for anyone to take their eyes off the screen whenever he shows up.

If anything, you should watch this movie just to watch Bardem do what he does. It may very well be the movie of the year, and rightly so.

An enjoyable feast: 5/5


  • “There is a way to be good again.”

    It’s that line exactly in the first chapter that made me shed tears just a couple of pages into the book. I can’t even explain exactly why but I just thought it was so sad…like what is it he could have done as a boy that made him think he was so bad…

    I enjoyed the book so much I don’t think I’ll be watching the movie; I don’t want anything to ruin my Kite Runner experience, but thanks for the review!

  • its never easy to transfer a book to movie, there will always be short comings. Still The Kite Runner will be a must see movie for me. Nice review

  • Nas, I totally agree with what you said about the Kite Runner.
    It was a good movie, but my experience reading the novel was way better than viewing the movie. while reading, I fully experienced the beauty of the landscape, the kite tournaments, the smell of the kubab in the streets of Kabul, the normal life, the brutal life after the Russian invasion, and the inhumanity of the Taliban. On the other hand, the movie cut it short and left out lots of the beauty depicted in the novel.. the landscape was almost ignored in the movie, whereas in the novel I felt it as a main character, a place where Amir and Hassan’s friendship develops and flourishes..
    The sound track was awesome.. I didn’t have enough of it and that’s why I ordered it and will be getting it soon inshalla 😀

  • I have not actually read the novel, but I enjoyed the movie. I think though it is more politicized than it should be. The Soviet soldiers and the Talibans are depicted as “the bad guys”, the ultimate evil. I am sure they were horrible overall in reality, but the way they were portrayed was a bit childish, typical of many Hollywood movies. The stoning of a woman was an unnecessary scene, and I am sure it would get widely varying responses in the Muslim world. I hope it does not start another stupid debate about an unimportant issue.

  • Yee.. i love the story very much
    very touch within
    it’s a beautiful novel
    i agree with you the novel is more brilliant than the movie
    many magnetic -interesting things in the novel lost in the film
    …zendagi migzagra .. . that 2 word keep in my mind
    For the movie , i do like acting of Hasan. He’s perfect , so natural to be Hasan as a servant kid
    I vote for him get award as a young talented actor

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