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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Movie Adaptation Review: The Kite Runner

image source: here. edited by me.
read my short review on The Kite Runner
"For you, a thousand times over."
FEELSSS. SUCH A GOOD MOVIE. It's been such a long time since I read this book, almost 5 years ago, and I literally forgot how heartbreaking this story can be. I think I knew this book was adapted into a movie in 2007, but I was never interested in watching it. So what made me decide to watch it? Recently I read a review of The Kite Runner, and the reader explained how great the book is. And at that point, I seriously want to reread the book. But due to my TBR pile (of course), I stopped myself from doing so. And I thought watching the movie adaptation will take shorter time to relive the story—even though it wouldn't be exactly the same like the book. In the end I didn't regret my decision; because it is indeed an incredible story, and also a good movie to watch. Here's my non-spoiling review on the movie adaptation of The Kite Runner.

The movie actually started in San Fransico, 2000, where Amir is living with his wife and he just received the copy of his recently published books. Then he got a call from an old friend, asking him to come home, and that there's a way to be good again. And then the story took us back to the year 1978 in Kabul, Afghanistan—where two boys are running for a kite: Amir with his childhood best friend, Hassan. Even though Hassan is the son of a servant at Amir's house, they both are best friends and played together all the time. Amir will read Hassan stories, and Hassan will run the kite for Amir. But one day, everything changed—and later Amir is trying to make up for the mistake he's done in the past.
"There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft... When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness."
I don't want to give too much away in the plot summary, because it's probably better to figure it out by yourself—because I was also VERY shocked at the revelation, even though I've read the book. Like I said earlier, it's been quite some time since I read the book, so my memory is vague. But I think the movie managed to translate the book perfectly to a movie; portraying the essence of the story and the emotions as well. However, I do know that the book has tons more incredible quotes that the movie didn't manage to put in the dialogue. Which is understandable, considering the short time it has to put everything together. And even though I'm sure there are a lot of scenes and details that are left out in the movie, I think the way the movie arranged the plot seems acceptable enough for me. You can go to this link, if you're curious to see the differences between the book and the movie (but beware of spoilers).
"It’s about a poor man who finds a magic cup. He learns that if he weeps into the cup, his tears turn to pearls. At the end of the story, he’s sitting on a mountain of pearls and holding a bloody knife in his hand and his dead wife in his arms."
Next, let me list my favorite scenes from the movie (and hopefully not spoil things too much).
  • My first favorite scene is the one I quoted above, along with the GIFs ↑↑↑. It's when Amir told Hassan of the story he wrote about a poor man and his magic cup. I was so taken aback with Hassan's reply, because I seriously didn't think about it. And this scene stick with me, even until now, several days after I watched the movie. It triggers the issue of humanity, in which people might kill for money—when they obviously have other choices to do otherwise.
  • "For you, a thousand times over" scene! Oh my God, the feelssssss ㅠㅠ From the beginning of the movie, Hassan has proved his loyalty to Amir all the way. To the point which his loyalty may seem ludicrous. He said this sentence when Amir told Hassan to run the kite he won, and made sure to bring it back. Through that one simple sentence, I can definitely see Hassan's integrity and the things he would do for Amir. Such a heartwarming scene :'))
  • When Amir hit Hassan with fruits. Amir suddenly came to Hassan and asked 'What if I hit you with this?' and throw a fruit towards him. Amir asked him to hit back as he repeatedly throw fruits to Hassan. Even when Amir called him a coward, Hassan took a fruit and splattered it all over his own face; indicating that he will never do harm to Amir even when Amir did otherwise. FEELSSSS.
  • When Baba (Amir's father) stood up for a woman refugee who was asked to serve a Russian guard. This scene is the pure definition of courage. Even when he knew the Russian guard might kill him, he still stood for what he thought is right. Thumbs up for Baba!
"War doesn't negate decency.... I'll take a thousand of his bullets before I let this indecency take place. Tell him he'd better kill me good with the first shot. Because if I don't go down, I'm tearing him to pieces."
  • The big revelation !! I think not remembering this part from the book is kind of a good thing, because I was utterly shocked by it. And at that moment, I'm pretty sure the guilt and regret in Amir's heart multiplied. Of course, I was also heartbroken by it—but I do think it's a good way for Amir to make amends with his past mistakes.
  • The scene between Amir and the orphanage director. The director explained that the Talib comes every month or two, taking children and brings a bit of cash. Amir criticized him for selling children, but what the director said seems to give Amir a big punch in the face.
"Yes, I am here to protect them. And you, brother? You come here to rescue a boy, take him back to America, give him a good life. It must seem heroic, huh? But what of the other two hundred children? You'll never see them again. You'll never hear them howling in the night. I spent my life savings on this orphanage. Everything I owned or inherited I sold to run this godforsaken place. You think I don't have family in Pakistan or Iran? I could have run like everyone else. If I deny him one child, he takes 10. So, I let him take one, and leave the judging to Allah. I take his filthy money, and I go to the bazaar, and I buy food for the children."
Wow. Just wow. Let this be a reminder for Amir, and for me, never to judge anyone. Not until you know everything.
  • And lastly, I love the scene in which showed Amir's character development. Throughout the movie, Amir is portrayed as this cowardly character. And towards the end of the movie, FINALLY he was able to stood up for himself and for the people he cared about. He's not afraid to speak up for what's right anymore, which made me extremely happy and satisfied as an audience :'))
*on a special note: I was also pleasantly surprised to see Khaled Hosseini made a short appearance in the movie :))
"Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors."
Not to forget, I want to mention how beautiful the cinematography is in this movie. The colors, the angle; everything just seems to fit perfectly in place. Most of the time, the actors/actresses speaks in Dari (Afghanistan's language), and there are times they speak in English; but that doesn't really bother me because I have English subtitles all the time. I also think each actors/actresses did a great job in acting out their respective characters and was able to depict the emotions perfectly.

I already love the original story from the beginning, so it's no doubt that I love the movie adaptation as well. I'm just very happy to be able to relive the story within the duration of 2-hours. What hits me the most from this story is the topic of humanity and conscience. And that sometimes when we're in a difficult situation, we are capable of betraying our own conscience. Just like the book, this movie gave me so much to think about. And I promised myself to reread the book again in the future, to remind me again of the important things this story taught me. If you haven't read the book, you should definitely try it out—because The Kite Runner is definitely in my list of favorite books. Or if you're not much of a reader, give the movie adaptation a try :)) Have you read the book? Or maybe watched the movie adaptation? Feel free to give your opinion in the comments below :))
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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