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The Kite Runner - drama DVD review
THE KITE RUNNER rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 5 stars
Actors: Homayoun Ershadi, Shaun Toub, Atossa Leoni, Said Taghmaoui
Director: Marc Forster   Studio: Miramax
DVD release: 25 March 2008   Runtime: 127 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Subtitles (English, French, Spanish), Audio Tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English, French, Spanish), Commentary w/ Marc Forster, Khalid Hosseini and David Benioff, Words from The Kite Runner, Images from The Kite Runner, Theatrical Trailer, Public Service Announcement w/ Khaled Hosseini

For once, a movie based on a book that does not disappoint! THE KITE RUNNER is an excellent screen adaptation of the bestselling book by the same name, with wonderful cinematography, outstanding performances by the actors, and a superb soundtrack. Done almost entirely in subtitles, the movie is as emotional and haunting as the book by author Khaled Hosseini.

THE KITE RUNNER offers a glimpse at life in Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion in 1979 and after the subsequent takeover by the Taliban. The first half of the film revolves around the friendship between two boys, Amir and Hassan, who live in Kabul. Amir comes from a rich family, and Hassan is the son of Amir's family servant. Hassan is also a "kite runner," a person who fetches the kites of the opponents during kite-flying competitions. Hassan seems to have an instinct as to where the defeated kites will land. He is a good kite runner for Amir, himself an excellent kite flyer. And Hassan is unwaveringly loyal to his friend, too, despite the racial and social differences. But their friendship is severely tested after an incident of abuse happens to Hassan. Amir's cowardly reaction to this incident will haunt him for the rest of his life, but years later, he gets a chance to perhaps make things right again.

The film also highlights the tragedy of what has happened to the country of Afghanistan and the plight of its people.

Directed by Marc Foster (MONSTER'S BALL, STRANGER THAN FICTION, FINDING NEVERLAND), there are no big Hollywood names in this film, but so much the better. The performances are outstanding, especially by the two child actors, Zekeria Ebrahimi and Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada. Alberto Iglesias's soundtrack adds immeasurably to the tone and setting of the movie.

THE KITE RUNNER is great movie, but still, read the book, too. It will only heighten your appreciation and understanding of this outstanding film.
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reviewed by Nancy Atkinson
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