Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket“The Kite Runner soars!”

_ The Kite Runner _ Title: The Kite Runner

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Every now and then a film comes along that captures the true essence of personal redemption. We all know what it is like to fail miserably. The statement, all have sinned and fall short, is exact and unwavering. The problem is that none of us ever get the opportunity to make it up to those we sinned against. Sure we can apologize and cause no future wrong, but that is the normal limit. In The Kite Runner the main character gets the chance to “be good again” and it is a passionate story of that journey. Filled with Oscar winning performances The Kite Runner soars higher than any foreign language film in years.

The story covers 20 years or so in the life of Amir (Khalid Abdalla) from his early days in Afghanistan to his current life in the states. As he reflects back on his childhood and his best friend Hassan (Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada) we see a tale of friendship, loyalty and betrayal. Hassan is the son of Amir’s father’s servant and the young boys spend their days flying kites in their peaceful hometown. Due to wars both personal and political they are soon separated and we pick up the story in later years with Amir having to return to a Taliban ruled Afghanistan in order to save the son of his childhood friend. Along the way we get a brilliant look at a culture much different than our own. From Amir and his fathers escape to Pakistan to flee the Russian invasion, to the ceremony of courtship and marriage.

This film is brilliantly written and the acting is flawless. The young Hassan will capture your heart from scene to scene. The cast includes many unknowns to American audiences yet each one delivers a memorable performance. The cinematography too is well done. From the Afghanistan in the 70’s to the modern day Taliban-affected country each location adds a feel and element to the story. You sense the same dejection that Amir does as you see a homeland desolate and far removed from what it once was. I found myself thinking of how blessed we are in the states and what a privilege it is to offer a haven to those who have no hope.

The Kite Runner is Rated PG-13 for strong thematic material including the rape of a child, violence and brief strong language. Keep in mind that this film is not made to offend but to tell a story. Of lives destroyed yet given a chance for renewal. The themes are heavy and the film is 90% subtitles so younger viewers may have a hard time keeping up. For the rest it is a soul stirring film and a must see. I give the Kite Runner 4.5 out of 5. It drags ever so slightly at the end and just a tick over two hours feels long. But that is no reason to not see this near perfect movie. Do not allow terms like arty, foreign and subtitles keep you from experiencing this story. You will certainly enjoy it, a thousand times over.

Matt Mungle (matt@mungleshow.com)(12/14/07)

“Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and co-hosts a weekly radio feature, The Mungles on Movies, with his wife Cindy. For additional reviews, interview clips and great DVD giveaways, visit the website www.mungleshow.com”

Review copyright 2007 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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