May 30, 2015

[Review] The Kite Runner (Movie) - A Mistake?


The Kite Runner movie by Marc Forster, an adaptation to the book with the same title by Khaled Hosseini, and a feasible alternative to reading the book (or SparkNotes). With a $20M budget, this film did quite well in the box office, and got an average of 6.5/10 on RottenTomatoes. So, was this movie a mistake?

I'm not going to lie, all movies have to cut some scenes out, or else every movie would be 3-4 hours long. The Kite Runner movie cuts chapters out from the book. I'm not talking about random short chapters that are scattered about the book, I'm talking about the whole hospital recovery scenes, for Amir and Sohrab, and many others. Blatant ignorance of facts from the book is displayed often, but the thing that gets me is the stoning scene: The man and woman were supposed to be in dug-out holes, and not made to stand/kneel in front of the audience; I know that film-producers can't put every single detail in the movie, but you should at least get the facts right.

Because the book is a book, it could get away with a lot more violence & gore than the movie. Why did they make this movie when they knew that they had to cut back on the "ketchup"? Amir sounded and seemed a lot worse off after his fight with Assef than in the movie, where he only had to endure a few punches, upper-cuts, and kicks.

But maybe this movie wasn't meant to be a movie at all. Maybe we were wrong all along. Maybe this movie was meant to be a visual guide for the book.

The movie gives us a pretty accurate visual depiction of Afghanistan pre-war and post-war, something the book could never give us. You could actually see the scenes and change/correct your brain's interpretation of what you've read in the book. They don't want you to imagine the scenes depicted in the book anymore - they want you to see it as realistic as they could make it.

If the movie was made to supplement the book, some of the things they took out would make sense; the film-makers give you the tools - the characters and the scenes - and you use your imagination to piece everything together.

Marc Forster intended for you to watch his film after you've read the book, as to stimulate your imagination. Just don't think of it as a movie, and you'll be good to go.

Tags: review movie