The Kite Runner (12)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner24/12/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 128 mins

Impressively directed and superbly written, this is a moving emotional drama with strong performances from its two young leads.

What's it all about?
Based on the best-selling book by Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner stars Zekiria Ebrahimi as 12-year-old Amir, the top kite-flyer in 1978 Kabul, whose best friend Hassan (Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada) has an impressive ability to run (track and recover) fallen kites. However, after a traumatic incident, the young boys grow apart and are then separated forever when the Russians invade Afghanistan.

Amir (now played by Khalid Abdalla) grows up in America with his father (Homayoun Ershadi) and gets engaged to a beautiful young woman (Atossa Leoni as Soraya). However, one day, he receives a phone call from his father's best friend (Shaun Toub) that takes him back to Taliban-controlled Kabul in search of redemption.

The Good
Zekiria Ebrahimi and Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada give terrific performances as the two young boys and the circumstances of their break-up are both horrifying and heart-breaking. There's also strong support from Homayoun Ershadi as Amir's difficult father, though Khalid Abdalla is rather weak as the adult Amir.

Director Marc Forster (Monster's Ball) orchestrates some terrific sequences – the shots of the kite-filled sky are delightful and the kite-running scenes are well handled. David Benioff's impressive script also includes several engaging details, such as the two young boys sneaking into a dubbed screening of The Magnificent Seven and discussing it afterwards.

The Great
Forster's direction is assured throughout, maintaining an emotional connection to the characters even when the action shifts into a straightforward escape thriller towards the end. He also avoids layering on too much in the way of sentimentality, where other directors might have resorted to rewrites and orchestral overload.

Worth seeing?
The Kite Runner is a powerfully emotional, thought-provoking drama with terrific performances and superb direction by Marc Forster. Recommended.

Film Trailer

The Kite Runner (12)
The Kite Runner has been reviewed by 1 users
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 26/09/2018 09:18

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Foxcatcher (15)

Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum star in this real life inspired story of Olympic talent, fierce competition and murder.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films