The Kite Runner

Peter Bradshaw /The Guardian, Friday 21 December 2007

Director Marc Forster and screenwriter David Benioff present a workmanlike, if decaffeinated version of Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling novel: the story of two boyhood friends, brothers in spirit, who grow up in 70s Kabul. Amir is the son of a wealthy businessman; Hassan is the servant boy taken in by the family, but who is made a victim of race and caste politics when he is assaulted and brutalised by local bullies.

Amir is haunted by his failure to stand up for his friend, whose fate becomes a symbol of the way Afghanistan is raped first by the Soviets and then the Taliban. The movie has a slightly melodramatic and weirdly anticlimactic ending, but is absorbing nonetheless.

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