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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Literature > Politics > Genocide > The Kite Runner (Paramount/Dreamworks DVD)

The Kite Runner (Paramount/Dreamworks DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B-     Film: B



It was a controversial hit book and the now a critically acclaimed film about two young friends named Hassan & Amir who grew up in Afghanistan only to be split apart for what is a lifetime until one decades later goes far out of his way to make up for doing the wrong thing and save his friend in The Kite Runner (2007) based on the book by Khaled Hosseini.  I have not been happy with Forster as a director, wondering if he’ll botch the next Bond film or not, but I did like Monster’s Ball and this proves that when he really applies himself, his films work.


The title refers to a game of fun with the title hobby that used to be enjoyed in the Middle East and Afghanistan until morons like the Taliban took over and banned it (suddenly making the recreational sport one of the most subversive in history) wherever they could take over.  However, the story takes place back in the U.S. where Amir has moved on, but soon discovers he has unfinished personal business to help the friend he stabbed in the back and was too young to understand the consequences of.  Of course, he could not see the future either, but he will go back and risk it all to bring order and justice to his life.


Some of this is predictable and maybe even corny to some, but with its political context, takes on a whole new meaning.  Oddly, despite its message, the media has ignored much more of it than expected, as if they were afraid of offending the second Bush Administration as if showing anyone in the Middle East as 3-dimensional human beings was a problem of some kind.  You’d hear about the film, but not it’s content.  Despite some issues (don’t let the package’s “from the director of Finding Neverland” scare you off, as that was an awful film and bad marketing idea) you might have, the plusses far outweigh the minuses and you should definitely see this one.


Originally scheduled for HD-DVD and DVD at the same time, The HD was scrapped, so all we get to see for now is the anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image which is softer than expected and color can be an issue at times.  I have seen 35mm film footage and know Director of Photography Roberto Schaeffer, A.S.C., did a much better job than what you see here.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes are all fine, though this is dialogue-base din any language, ambience and music arte a plus.  Alberto Iglesias’ score is a plus and never is a distraction.  Extras include a good audio commentary by Forster, Hosseini and Benioff, stills, trailer, and words from the film.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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