Scott Marks 4:19 p.m., June 19
The Kite Runner
From the Khaled Hosseini novel, directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Stranger Than Fiction), a story about a storyteller, and in large part a story truly worthy of a storyteller. The remaining parts are hackneyed and/or hokey. Main elements: two boyhood pals in Kabul, 1978, the sons of master and servant, and the psychologically penetrating betrayal of the second by the first, our evolving storyteller. Notwithstanding the graphic barbarities of the Taliban in the year 2000, the film takes a tactical and tactful approach to the Islamic topic, and the nostalgic re-creation of life in the Afghanistan of yesteryear (handsomely photographed in the bargain) is highly beneficial: the competitive, combative, and colorful kite flying, the Pashto-dubbed print of The Magnificent Seven (Charles Bronson's accent giving him away as a native Iranian), the swanky comforts of the hero's home, the imposing figure of his principled, civilized, dignified father (ably embodied by the star of Taste of Cherry, Homayoun Ershadi), destined to run a gas station in Fremont after fleeing the Soviet invaders. The besetting problems of dividing a screen role between a younger and an older actor are brutally spotlighted in the scene where a Taliban bully tells the now adult hero that he never forgets a face, when in truth the face little resembles the one that the bully last saw. It is not surprising that the hero, in turn, doesn't recognize the bully. With Khalid Abdalla, Zekeria Ebrahimi, and Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada. 2007.
— Duncan Shepherd
- Rated PG-13 | 2 hours, 8 minutes
- Official website