The Kite Runner Reviews
Mr. Forster has been soundly defeated by The Kite Runner. Despite the film's far-flung locations, there is remarkably little of visual interest here; the setups are banal, and the scenes lack tension, which no amount of editing can provide.
Armed with a capably hands-off screenplay by David Benioff, [Forster] made a drama as bland and beige as its tasteful palette, whose pacing wouldn't look out of place in the Sunday-night slot on PBS.
The movie has two extraordinary characters and performances. Non-pro Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada breaks your heart as the innocent, wide-eyed child Hassan, and Homayoun Ershadi makes Amir's father a model of intuitive decency.
The Afghan boys' kite-flying contests are the emotional core of the film, and Forster and his crew bring the camera into the sky and make it dip and soar along with the kites.
How long has it been since you saw a movie that succeeds as pure story? That doesn't depend on stars, effects or genres, but simply fascinates you with how it will turn out?
The Kite Runner feels authentic in its ethnic tensions, even when the narrative itself, with its handily reappearing and easily avenged villain, undermines that authenticity.