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The Best of 2007: 'The Kite Runner'

The Kite Runner

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For some reason, this film went widely ignored during the Oscar season of this year despite getting some of the best reviews of 2007. I found this film's story to be an amazingly sad, but very hopeful perspective on the lives of young Afghans from the late 1970's growing up through the Soviet invasion of '79 and reaching adulthood to catch a rather horrific glimpse at Taliban rule at the turn of the millennium. Half of this film is in the Afghan language and the other half is in English when our protagonists come to live in the United States, which may have been one of the reasons this film was not seen widely as a foreign language film that could have easily won the Best Foreign Film Oscar.

Pushing these puzzling questions aside, The Kite Runner is quite possibly the best film by director Marc Forster so far in his career. He has gone from such brooding indie pics as Monster's Ball (2001) and Everything Put Together (2000) to glossy imaginative flicks like Finding Neverland (2004) and Stranger Than Fiction (2006) [my 3 pick of 2006] and now at the helm of the new James Bond film (this film's action sequences, though minimal, speak volumes for what may come for 007), it's amazing how much versatility Forster has shown with only 8 movies so far to his credit. Perhaps the real stars in this film are the young actors that carry the film like their characters' kites in the breeze (Zekeria Ebrahimi and Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada are now both living in the United Arab Emirates out of fear that those opposed to the issues in this film might makes attempts on their lives if they still lived in Afghanistan).

Without their enormous talent, this film's story about a relationship between two kids who allow an unspeakable incident come between them, creating guilt within our lead character, would never have worked whatsoever. The film plainly shows how a young person (with his supportive father at his side) can grow up creating alienation within himself and naturally becoming alienated when he enters another country and culture, and only to become even more alienated when he returns to his native land. This film leaves me with the rather optimistic idea that the only way to find closure to any unfinished duty is to pursue and grab a hold of whatever remains of this uncompleted business to finish one chapter and begin another; something that the Afghan individuals that this story is based on obviously hope for.