friendship beyond inequalities, honor and family – these are the central themes of these beautiful, poignant film, the kite runner. adapted from khaled hosseini’s book, the kite runner tells the story of amir, a well-off boy living in kabul’s wazir akbar khan district. set against the backdrop of afghanistan’s turbulent recent history, amir had to live with his guilt stemming from abandoning his friend and the son of his father’s servant, hassan.
in one of their local kite-flying competitions, hassan promised to give amir the winning kite. he caught the kite but a bunch of bullies wanted it for themselves. hassan was beaten up and was sexually assaulted. amir, who saw his friend being assaulted abandoned his friend and even called hassan a coward. national events since played out with the monarchy falling and the soviet union invading the country, amir and his father sought refuge in pakistan and eventually in the US. hassan and his family did not have that luxury and stayed behind in afghanistan and experienced the times when the taliban took over the country.
as critics put it, the kite runner captures the audience’s imagination. it opened my eyes to the glory of afghanistan as a nation and how foreign power destroyed its sovereignty and how fanatic take on religion wipe out familial blueprint and heritage. the special joy of friendship, fun during someone’s youth, loyalty, pain and remorse were all interwoven in this tale. this line from hassan especially resonated with me, “if you tell me to eat dirt, i will. but i know you won't ask me to.”
if there was one criticism against the kite runner, it would have been the fast-forwarded take on the movie’s vital final moments. while it did put a lot of time in laying the background of the story and what happened to amir when he moved to the US, the solution to the conflict felt rushed. maybe because when amir’s moment to stand up for sohrab came, the movie was already running at over 2 hours. however, the ending still provided a good atmosphere by saying that it’s never too late to make amends for missteps committed in the past. it is one inspiring film that everyone should see.