By Rohini Mohan
For those living in the San Francisco Bay Area this is an interesting movie to watch. The book described the area, particularly Fremont, in detail and the movie provides a good visual backup. I watched the movie in its first week of release and it was a full house. We actually had to camp out on the floor to get a decent view.
Khaled Hosseini’s first book, the film is directed by Golden Globe nominated director, Mark Foster. It is a story of friendship and betrayal set against an Afghani backdrop. Indian audiences will enjoy it, as it has all the fine trappings of a Bollywood blockbuster, lots of emotion, much scope for melodrama, many co-incidences. Most of the movie is in Farsi with English subtitles, which makes it pretty authentic. The lead actors are all professional, but apparently most of the US bit roles are played by Bay Area talent. Most of the child actors are local to Afghanistan with little or no acting experience, but all do a fine job.
The noteworthy actors are young Hassan, and Baba, the father of Amir, the central character. Both come across as very natural. Amir by virtue of his character, is weak and selfish and does not extract much empathy from the audience until he redeems himself in the end. The movie did do justice to the book and for those who do not have much patience with reading, it provides a wonderful representation of life in Afganistan ( shot in China) the immigrant experience and Afghani culture and how it is maintained abroad.
As seems to be the norm with many movies these days, Khaled Hosseini does a little cameo appearance in the very last scene. All in all, an afternoon well spent whether at the movies or on DVD.
WNI WISHES ALL ITS READERS A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!