Friday, December 5, 2008

THE KITE RUNNER (Marc Forster, 2007, USA) Sometimes a faithful adaptation from a good source novel can be a bad thing, or in this case a rather mundane thing, because prose and the visual arts are two very different mediums of storytelling. The children actors are exceptional and the direction adequate with some gorgeous cinematography but the fault is placed within the film’s narrative structure: it is actually too similar to the novel. Readers of the book will agree that the movie skips some major plot points such as the breathtaking escape from Afghanistan via the smothering darkness of an oil truck (where a baby dies) and Amir’s adventure in getting his nephew a visa. The film also fails to adequately explain the cultural bias that exists between the characters; the viewer can’t understand Amir’s motivations unless this is clearly defined. The major problem with this film is that it’s sometimes boring. David Benioff is a weak screenwriter and his history confirms this (just look on IMDB and see his other “accomplishments”). I believe this film would have benefited from crosscutting or well placed flashbacks to enhance the suspense; we know Amir survives…but how? At what cost? As it is, the movie generates little suspense and just plods along until the final scene. THE KITE RUNNER is disappointing because it could have been a great film. (B-)

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