“There is a way to be good again, Amir jan.“
This quote stands as beacon at the beginning of the film. A clever hallmark to let you know that this film is going to take you somewhere. Pick you up and move you. Make you understand. You have to follow Amir’s story: where his innocence was lost and the road he walked to find redemption.
When I sat down in the sold-out theatre I knew Amir’s story. I read Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” this summer on a plane from Athens to New York. I read the book in one day. I felt painfully close to the story having just spent two months in the Middle East. Life is different there. Sometimes it feels so much more real than life here: more raw, less certain, but better in some ways. Standing in a world so far from home almost forces you to really know who you are. Amir felt this too. When he revisited the land of his childhood, Afghanistan, you could actually see the change in him. He was afraid and resolved. He was better because he knew who he was, what he wanted, and what he had missed since he had been gone.
The film followed the letter of the book with lovely precision. Nothing seemed omitted. I was particularly impressed with the films capture of Kabul in the 1970’s, during Soviet occupation, and under the Taliban. I also loved how they managed to capture the delicate art of kite flying and running.
This review is my shortest. I think everyone should watch this film or read the book. Maybe both. You won’t be disappointed. You will cry. The story hurts in profound ways. Unlike most sad films, you don’t leave sorry you watched. The Kite Runner is a journey. Amir takes you with him. You see his past and his future. You see his life. And you come to understand that, “there is a way to be good again.” No matter where you went wrong.