Amazing, Astounding, Brilliant, Superb. Those are the four adjectives that prop up in my head when I start describing "The Kite Runner". Khaled Hosseini's book adaptation had already captured many minds, in fact it is rumored that he himself broke down in to tears after watching the premier. I must say before I even start that I had read the book before I saw the advanced screening of "The Kite Runner". So my judgment and views may be slightly biased.
Firstly, let me say it, that even though in my opinion the book was better than the final product of the movie, it is by no means a bad adaptation. I mean for a two hour movie it's got the deserved response. Things do appear a tad fast in the final twenty odd minutes, but apart from that it has succeeded what the book did. It has captured the minds and imagination of millions all across the globe. The magic woven by Khaled Hosseini, to give us a sense of remorse of joy, of sadness, of pain, of loyalty is astute in this adaptation. Especially in the very first scene, when young Hassan says, "If you tell me to eat dirt, I will. but I know you won't ask me to." Such a touching line, is bound to capture the hearts of many. The two young actors were brilliant, absolutely superb. Especially the boy who played the innocent but loyal Hassan, a boy, who refuses to give up a kite he caught because he promised his best friend that he would bring it to him, only to be abused by large bullies who beat him up and use him sexually, and then to be rebuked by his best friend as a coward. The entire act is so touching that it cannot but wet your eyes.
The entire movie is well placed save the last bit. The point when Amir learns of his true relationship with Hassan and reads Hassan's first and last not to him, when he breaks down in tears feeling helpless, lonely and remorseful, that appeared a bit rushed and felt that Amir was behind a facade. In the book, Khaled Hosseini had dedicated some 10-12 pages to describe Amir's state of mind in that position. But that his made up for in the penultimate segment of the movie, when Amir stands up for Hassan's boy, his nephew, Sohrab in front of his commanding father-in-law. The ending was well deserved and I am sure will be well appreciated. It felt witnessing the torch pass down from one generation to another.
Coming over to the technical aspects. First of all, the acting. Just one word-Superb. From start to finish, young Hassan and Amir, their father, his friend Rahim Khan. Everyone has been superb, especially young Hassan. Second, the direction was amazing, coupled with some brilliant camera work. The background score was also impressive. Right from the start credit track to the end credit, and I especially loved the one when Amir is in the mosque in Pakistan the western and Islamic fusion, made that extra special.
All in all, this is definitely one of the better movies, and it's a welcome break from all those Iran inspired movies that we have floating all over this year. 9/10 !!!