I watched The Kiterunner movie last night with mixed emotions. It was a film that provided an intriguing account of children caught up in Afghanistan’s conflicts. But it is essentially American sentimentality and an overdone account of good-versus-evil.
Spoiler: The next para outlines the plot.
The Kiterunner is the story of a sooky, intellectual Afghan boy, with a brave and wealthy father. The boy is nasty and dishonest to his loyal, though poor, friend who is a member of an Afghan racial minority. The boys fly fighting kites together but this fun ends when the Russians arrive and the sooky boy and his dad skedaddle to the US. The friend grows up but is eventually killed by the Taliban but his son survives. The grown-up sook of course discovers courage in America and returns to Pakistan where he finds out about his friend's son and heads off to Kabul to rescue him from a bunch of sadistic, homosexual Taliban members. The boy gets rescued, heads off to America with the ex-sook and lives happily ever after with the ex-sook in middle class bliss (‘do you like your room’).
Americans are very much concerned with the issue of perfectibility and redemption. It is certainly here. They are also concerned with evil and that is here also – racism and some truly hideous Taliban creeps. The homosexual rape issue occurs twice in the film and it is confronting. Young boys carry out one of the rapes and religious hypocrites carry out the other. Creepy homosexuals add an element of disgust to the tale but are essentially irrelevant - they are an overdone attempt to add drama to a story which generally lacks it.
The film has had some glowing reviews but in my view it is overdone melodrama.