Monday, December 17, 2007

Flighty and Unengaging: The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner
Directed by Marc Forster
Released December 14, 2007

I will begin my noting that I have not yet read the book. I am not sure that it would have increased my enjoying of the film, as I had a problem with the story, finding it generally over-the-top and far too reliant on coincidence. The grander conflict was reduced to a far too incidental and personalized struggle which for me had a greatly dampened resonance. The lead performer, Khalid Abdalla, is completely unenthusiastic, and I would have hoped that a completely unknown actor would have been more carefully chosen for his dramatic and compelling acting ability. The child versions of the two protagonists are much better actors than Amir's older counterpart. The excellent performances from Shaun Toub as Rahim Kahn and especially Homayoun Ershadi as Baba are worth mentioning, however. The film is difficult to watch at times, but the buoyant and overly adventurous score that runs through the credits sets the film up as a much less serious movie. There are numerous shots of kites flying in the sky to look at, but that does not make up a good movie. Director Marc Forster has never been the strongest director, his films more often featuring overrated performances ("Monster's Ball", "Finding Neverland"), or clever scripts ("Stranger than Fiction"). Perhaps someone with a more demonstrated directorial ability should have been selected to adapt this book. Then again, I have not read it, so maybe there was little to work with from the start.


Oscar chances: I would disqualify this from many of the major races, though a screenplay nod is not out of the question. The biggest chance this film has is in the Best Original Score category, though I have already mentioned that I did not like it. Unfortunately, it may even eclipse the beautiful score from "Atonement", which would be a real tragedy.

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