Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Reluctant Fundamentalist: Monday, May 27 2013

Miro Nair is an Indian film maker based in New York.  Educated at the University of New Delhi and Harvard, she has expressed a desire to be "among the best" filmmakers in the world. Expertly directed, The Reluctant Fundamentalist shows that this is, indeed, what she is. My friends, Karen and Andrea, and I thoroughly enjoyed this film. We found it enthralling, moving, and satisfying.

Based on the book with the same name, by Mohin Samid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a delightful film. I read the book, published in 2007, when it first came out, and enjoyed it. But the film is even better. We see the financial world in New York, the different world of Pakistan. We hear the music of the East, and I could almost smell the atmosphere.

Riz Ahmad, born in London, England, is Changez Khan, which is Urdu for Genghis Khan, and perfect in the part. He is so gorgeous, but also such a wonderful actor. He is the reluctant fundamentalist defining the basics of businesses in the world of Private Equity on Wall Street, and also in his home of Pakistan in his Muslim world. He loves America, where he has done so well, but is drawn back to Pakistan, partly because he feels no longer part of the United States. After 9/11, things changed and he became suspect, due to the fears of Americans.

Kate Hudson as Erica, and Liev Schreiber as Bobby, are excellent, as are the rest of the cast. I particularly enjoyed Kiefer Sutherland as Jim, the New York Wall Street financier. He looked every inch the part, a far cry from Jack Bauer in the TV series, 24. I'm a fan!

Nair has shown the development of Changez from a highly successful immigrant to the United States, who states he loves America, to a university professor in Pakistan, who still loves America and forgives its excesses in his country. I felt deeply for him, and for all others like him, torn between two cultures.

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