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The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner

The Kite RunnerDirected by Marc Forster (PG-13)A hate crime tears apart a friendship between two Afghan boys.

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The Kite Runner “isn’t afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve,” said David Ansen in Newsweek. In their abbreviated but solid adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s best-seller, director Marc Forster and screenwriter David Benioff remain true to the book’s “heart-tugging sentimental power and sturdy, symmetrical storytelling.” The Kite Runner traces the lives of two Afghan boys: Amir is a high-born Pashtun and Hassan a lowly Hazara whose father works as a servant for Amir’s family. The two become great friends, until Hassan is beaten and raped by Pashtun teenagers, while Amir watches in horror but does nothing. Only years later does Amir finally atone by returning to Kabul. Forster and Benioff have “expertly streamlined” Hosseini’s sprawling, complex story, said John Podhoretz in The Weekly Standard. But they seem less interested in the narrative than turning The Kite Runner into a brief tour of “Afghanistan’s late-20th-century descent into hell.” The Kite Runner may have educational value, said Andrew O’Hehir in Salon.com. But as a film, it’s “fundamentally unfocused and superficial,” To truly appreciate this affecting story, read the book.

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