This film is based on the amazing book by the same name, and I have to say it is very faithful to the book.
Set in Afghanistan in the ’70s, this is the story of Amir and Hassan, his friend and servant. Amir’s father is harsh on Amir and prefers qualities he sees in Hassan. This breeds resentment in Amir, who badly wants his father’s respect and love. The boys’ friendship is changed forever when Amir witnesses Hassan being abused by a group of older boys and does nothing to help his friend. He also plants his watch in Hassan’s bed and claims it was stolen with the aim to get Hassan out of his life, both to assuage his guilt and to be number one in his father’s affection. He gets his wish with Hassan’s father find out what has been happening and decides to leave the family compound with his son.
Not long after this, the Russians storm into Afghanistan, meaning Amir and his father have t0 flee the country. They move to the USA to start their lives over again. We cut to Amir as an adult, just finished college, and getting married, when he receives a call from an old Afghani friend calling him home to make things right.
The movie is luscious – Afghanistan of the ’70s is vibrant and rich with life, in contrast to Amir’s return to find the desolation left behind with the Taliban rule. The music is beautiful – it provides a thread through the movie and brings a feeling of the middle east to California where the family moves to.
The movie was very deftly put together without dwelling too long on scenes which were heart-wrenching, and thus managed to create a beautiful story of friendship and love from a story that could have easily have strayed into becoming a devastating tale of the ruination of many life. Beautiful movie, I strongly recommend it.